On June 15, 2023, Beyond Air issued a press release announcing they have licensed the commercial rights to Selective Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase (nNOS) Inhibitors for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The screen shot pictured here is from Beyond Air’s Twitter feed reporting they “Advance research that could lead to first medication for Autism Disease Reversal; First-in-human clinical trials planned for 2025.”

Below is my response.

I am an actually Autistic (and ADHD) adult, business owner, NeuroInclusive Consultant and Executive Business Coach.  I hold a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and worked successfully holding space with other neurodivergent clients as a licensed complex trauma therapist for 15 years until my retirement.  I turned to entrepreneurship out of necessity as a result of the inaccessible and non-inclusive work environments that I consistently encountered.

Autism is not a disease or a disorder.

It is an identity.

Autistic people don’t suffer from autism, we suffer from the unrelenting, ableist demands to perform and conform to neurotypicality in schools, in homes, in workplaces, in society.

Autism is not a problem to be cured.

Autism is an identity to be curious about and understood.

The idea that drug companies seek to erase the very things that make our unique and remarkable brains what they are is ableist and a form of eugenics.

Proceed with great skepticism when engaging with research about autism that is done by anyone who is not themselves autistic; it is inherently flawed and biased because none of it even considers the inner lived-experience of actually autistic people.

We are done being spoken for. We are done being decided about. We are here, thinking, working, passionate human beings who know our own minds and who thrive in environments that are accessible and neuroinclusive.

The reports reflecting the cost of “managing” autistic children is grotesque at best.

What would truly help autistic people of all ages is significant investment in neuroinclusion training and implementation–in homes, in schools, in workplaces, in law enforcement, in healthcare facilities, in academic institutions, in public policy, in legislation, everywhere.

THAT would be the REAL breakthrough worth celebrating.

Our society and humanity as a whole depends on neurodiversity for survival and evolution.  If our vastly different minds and ways of thinking are culled to the point of homogeneity, it will be the end of innovation, the end of creativity, the end of discoveries and inventions, including the very process that resulted in the finding I am responding to.

While I do not in any way support the concept of Autism as a disease that needs curing, I absolutely value freedom and diversity of thought, expression, experience, perspective, and being even when it leads to innovation that results in something controversial.  With the caveat that that controversial thing is thoroughly examined from ALL sides–especially from the side of Actually Autistic people.

I am the NeuroInclusive specialist that delivers trainings, workshops, consultation, and coaching for Expansive Expressions.  NeuroInclusion must be included in the work of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in order for their to be comprehensive  conversations, learning, practice, and embodiment.

If your organization, company, agency, corporation, healthcare, or academic institution is ready to take the next step in understanding NeuroInclusion, connect with us today to book a 90minute live, interactive, virtual workshop.

To learn more about our consulting and coaching retainer packages, please visit our information page here.

If you are a parent of an Autistic kiddo interested in learning more about new ways to engage with and be curious about your child’s experience, contact us for referrals to excellent neurodivergent-affirming resources.  

#ActuallyAutistic #Autism #Neurodiversity #Neuroinclusion #Neurodivergent #Advocacy #Training #DEIB 

Mess is Morally Neutral

Musings on releasing clutter shame as an act of radical self acceptance

I first encountered this phrase from KC Davis, LPC who is the brilliantly relatable human behind Struggle Care and @DomesticBlisters on TikTok. 

It is a phrase that I sit with and work to accept as true, and especially, true for me.

I grew up in the impeccably neat and organized homes of my parents and grandmother.  It was a part of my upbringing to do chores, from as early as I can remember.  As a young child I embraced the “out of sight out of mind” philosophy of cleaning and shoved everything under my bed or in the back of my closet when it came time for room inspections.  Every time I was found out and then had to began the task of actually putting things away—folded, neat, orderly.

When I was a kid there was a great deal of cultural attitude around cleanliness…it is next to Godliness after all!  Cleanliness and mess were absolutely made out to be moral reflections of a person’s character and I, as an ambassador of the family had a responsibility to uphold certain standards of presenting myself and my spaces.

I got it, to a degree.  There are definitely perks of having a tidy space that is ready to work or create in whenever you like without having to first clean it up.  I enjoyed that feature.

Later in life during a transitional period when I first moved to Texas, I worked as a professional organizer going into people’s homes and guiding them through organizing pantries and closets and personal business documents.  I loved it!  It absolutely sated my enjoyment of creating order and putting my Autistic organizer brain to use.  And it was other people’s stuff so I enjoyed no attachments or history with those things.

This was also during a season before a major loss in my life occurred and I was lost in the pit of cPTSD, depression, and grief.

My home space began to disintegrate as I got deeper into grief and processing trauma with my therapist.

Jennifer Alumbaugh, MS

I was suddenly acutely aware of my bandwidth and how I rarely had any surplus after a day of therapy and work, to then come home and make a meal or wash a dish or sweep the floor.  I didn’t understand how I was loosing so much functioning when earlier in life I knew how to keep a home space clean and tidy and guest-ready.

Then I began to learn about the links between clutter, mess, and trauma.  I began the work of deconstructing the nasty, mean, and shaming mentality I had toward myself.  Healing doesn’t happen all at once, especially in this area.

I have a lot of conversations with clients about some of the heartache of healing is also being left with things we have to fix from when we were not capable of dealing with them in a grief or depression or cPTSD place.

I wish there was some “get out of mess free” card that people got after healing through their trauma that magically cleaned and organized spaces for them….but alas, none exist.

Instead, I am grateful for resources like what KC Davis creates.  On her website are a slew of helpful downloadables including things like: Closing Duties Checklist, How to Build a Cleaning Kit, Neurodivergence To-Do list, Cleaning Your Depression House, and more!  Additionally, she has a 6-month online course to provide support, motivation, and boosters for folks wanting to tackle their doom piles…all for $15!  I love that her work is financially accessible, is inclusive of neurodivergent brains, and is broken into tiny, manageable sound-bites.

KC also just released a book, How to Keep House while Drowning, which I totally just got on Audible (it’s read by KC herself!  I love books read by their own authors)!  It’s a quick 3 hour read or listen and as I was reading reviews, I saw that many folks played the audio book while they organized a space and found it deeply motivating and affirming.  So, I will be trying that out this weekend!

For a number of reasons, mess is so often shrouded in shame that we don’t talk about it and the not talking about it grows until it feels like this “big dirty secret” that we are hiding from the world.  I’m right there with you! 

Today, I am embracing the idea that “mess is morally neutral” and I am going to see what changes when I treat myself with kindness and compassion around my messes, and what happens when I can celebrate and feel good about small wins.

What’s your relationship with mess? 

What if you could see a pile of dishes, or stack of unfolded laundry and *not* experience shame and judgment of yourself? 

What if you were able to connect with the motivation to tidy driven by a belief that you are worthy of a tidy space, rather than driven by harsh criticism and blame? 

What if you could find value and gratification in the small victories? 


I’d love to walk with you on this path, not because I have it all figured out, but because I get it, I’m right there too learning and growing into self acceptance in this area. 

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