AFIL - Association for Independent Living

AFIL - Association for Independent Living AFIL is a 24 hour residential program which teaches independent living skills to young adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
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“The mission of the Association for Independent Living (AFIL) is to strengthen the independence of young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through life skills education, vocational guidance, community integration and spiritual growth in a supportive living environment.”

Mission: “The mission of the Association for Independent Living (AFIL) is to strengthen the independence of young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through life skills education, vocational guidance, community integration and spiritual growth in a supportive living environment.”

Operating as usual

One of the residents facilitated a group where everyone created a feelings journal!
10/19/2020

One of the residents facilitated a group where everyone created a feelings journal!

AFIL residents have decorated for the spooky season! 🎃👻
10/14/2020

AFIL residents have decorated for the spooky season! 🎃👻

It’s getting a little spooky here at AFIL! 🎃👻
10/06/2020

It’s getting a little spooky here at AFIL! 🎃👻

AFIL - Association for Independent Living's cover photo
09/23/2020

AFIL - Association for Independent Living's cover photo

Wheelchair Rapunzel
09/22/2020

Wheelchair Rapunzel

Instead of being happy and inspired by disabled people “overcoming barriers,” get angry. Get mad.

Get pissed that the only reason we’re having to overcome barriers is because of disability oppression.

Get mad enough to help us break down these barriers.

PotsieSpoons
09/14/2020

PotsieSpoons

BEHOLD! A beginner’s guide to ableism!

“Ableism” is a word I didn’t hear until after I became disabled AND was active within the disability community—which is pretty amazing, since ableism is so dang present in our world today, BUT ALSO and UNFORTUNATELY not that surprising, since it’s really only talked about by disabled individuals whose words often echo within disabled circles because...well, ableism keeps us out of lots of other circles. 😐

Because this is just a beginner’s guide and a place to start, here are some links to help you learn more:
For more about a legal lower minimum wage for disabled individuals: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fact-sheets/39-14c-subminimum-wage , https://www.good.is/articles/minimum-wage-workers-with-disabilities , https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20180423
For more about violence against disabled individuals: http://cdrnys.org/blog/advocacy/the-unacknowledged-crisis-of-violence-against-disabled-people/ (There is a list of further references at the bottom of that article.)
For more about disability stereotypes: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DisabilityTropes (There are a LOT of things on this list, and I’m not saying all of them are harmful, but stereotypes in general tend to strip individuals of all complexity, and many disability-related stereotypes turn disabled characters into an object or plot device rather than a person.)
And for more about individual acts of ableism—actively seek out disabled voices and pay attention to them! Don’t bombard them with questions, but instead just take the time to listen/read what they’re saying or have already said.

As a final note! The alt text for these images is actually in the individual image captions, because there’s a lot of information in these images and I was afraid Facebook’s alt text might cut off my admittedly long descriptions. I tried to keep them as short as possible without losing any of the information, but I apologize for any inconvenience this causes!

Âûtistic News Feed
09/11/2020

Âûtistic News Feed

10 Autism Facts Everyone Should Know
(sources added now!)

1 It's genetic.
It doesn't suddenly appear or get caused by anything environmental. It should be noted environment can impact the degree to which genes are expressed, though. Epigenetics (how factors affect gene expression) is fascinating but deserves a comprehensive post of its own. Autistic patterns of brain development are observed to be atypical even from infancy, though diagnosis rarely occurs until later. Autistic people very often have autistic family members. I was diagnosed later but I can retrospectively identify tons of autistic traits in my childhood. It's not vaccines. It's not toxins. It's just how our brains are wired.

2 It can't be "cured" and we* don't want it to be cured anyways!
My autism is as important to who I am as my gender or my national identity. I wouldn't want someone to take it from me. I'd be a completely different person!

3 Autistic people* don't approve of ABA.
ABA= Applied Behavioural Analysis. Both people who've gone through ABA and people who've practiced it have come forward to denounce it as ineffective and extremely harmful. It increases our risk of PTSD and anxiety disorders, and it's been likened to "conversion therapy for autistics", because the goal is often to make us appear less autistic and suppress autistic traits, instead of learning how to live and thrive as an autistic person.

4 Autism Speaks doesn't speak for us*.
They have few to no Autistic people in their leadership and use only a minute fraction of their funds to help autistic people. They participate in genetic research which furthers the goal of a prenatal autism screen (eugenics), and consistently demonize and dehumanize autistic people in campaigns in order to gain donations.

5 Most of us* prefer "autistic" to "person with autism".
Each person may have their own preference and that should be respected, but if you aren't sure what someone prefers, or you're talking about autistic people in general, please use "Autistic". The main reason behind this is because 'having autism' sounds much like 'having cancer' or 'having a cold'- that's the phrasing we use when we have a temporary illness or ailment. Autism isn't temporary, and it's not an illness or ailment. It's not an accessory. It's part of us. One comparison I like is that we'd say someone is a woman, not a person with womanhood.

6 Most of us* DON'T approve of the puzzle piece symbol.
It was first designed by non-autistic people who thought autism was a 'puzzling childhood disorder', and it's used by Autism Speaks and by many other organizations that seek to cure autism. We* prefer a rainbow (or gold) infinity symbol to signify the infinite variety of autistic presentation.

7 Functioning labels hurt us more than they help us.
When you call someone 'low-functioning' it dismisses their skills and abilities and is often used as a reason to deny people autonomy and respect. 'High functioning' dismisses someone's struggles and is often used as a reason to deny them accommodation and support. Additionally, functioning labels are an observation about how much someone's autism affects outsiders, not anything to do with how it affects the actual autistic person. It also treats a spectrum as a binary, which is really never accurate.

8 A LOT of us are LGBTQIA+ (aka queer).
It's important to note autistic people often face several kinds of discrimination. We are significantly more likely to be trans or nonbinary, and many of us have other queer identities. If you want to support autistic people, you should learn about LQBTQIA+ issues, too. Autistic and queer identities and communities have a lot of overlap.

9 Autism is not an intellectual disability.
You can be autistic and have an intellectual disability (as many of us do), but they're not the same thing. We're not all geniuses, and neither do we all have difficulty learning. There is a wide range of skills, and abilities among autistic people. (Contrary to what TV would have you believe). Some of us might be like Rainman or Shaun Murphy, but most of us are pretty average. Don't place unusually high or low expectations on an autistic person you meet- just treat them like an equal and get to know them.

10 "Nonverbal" people still communicate.
The word 'nonverbal' or 'nonspeaking' brings a lot of stereotypes with it. Most of them are wrong. Nonspeaking does not mean 'doesn't understand speech'. People can be nonspeaking and intelligent. People can use technology to communicate and be independent adults. AAC (alternative and augmentative communication) is just as valid and important as spoken words. For far too long, nonspeaking people have been marginalized and ignored. It's absolutely not okay.

** Not all autistic people will agree on all issues. We're not a homogenous group. My statements are based on statistics from polls of autistic adults. More info below.

-KitAut

Further reading:

1
https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/analysis-sequences-pegs-102-top-autism-genes/
https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/autism-spectrum-disorder#genes
https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/autism-brains-show-widespread-alterations-structure/

2
(scroll about 1/4 way down in article for relevant graph, but the whole thing's worth reading in my opinion) https://autisticnotweird.com/2018survey/
https://autisticmama.com/why-dont-autistics-want-a-cure-for-autism/
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/cure-autism-not-so-fast-n1055921

3
https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/AIA-08-2017-0016/full/html
https://sociallyanxiousadvocate.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/why-i-left-aba/
http://unstrangemind.com/aba/

4
https://autisticmama.com/do-not-support-autism-speaks/
http://boycottautismspeaks.org/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez936r2F35U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0vCz2KWMM0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UgLnWJFGHQ

5
https://autisticadvocacy.org/about-asan/identity-first-language/
https://autisticnotweird.com/autistic-person/
Even autism speaks' own poll! (despite the fact that AS uses PFL)
https://twitter.com/edgyspirit/status/1153542107275153408

6
https://intheloopaboutneurodiversity.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/the-ableist-history-of-the-puzzle-piece-symbol-for-autism/
https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2018/02/02/autism-journal-abandons-puzzle/24668/
https://twitter.com/soundcube/status/1093585191518568448

7
https://autisticmama.com/the-problem-with-autism-functioning-labels/
https://www.ncmh.info/2019/04/04/fallacy-functioning-labels/

8
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29159906/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24619651/
https://www.spectrumnews.org/opinion/viewpoint/need-respect-sexual-orientation-gender-diversity-autism/
https://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/central/provo/dual-spectrums-more-people-with-autism-identify-as-lgbtq-than-general-population/article_58f4c198-84e8-504e-911d-db721da53a95.html

9
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4185273/
https://iamcadence.com/2018/03/28/understanding-the-difference-between-autism-and-intellectual-disability/

10
https://researchautism.org/i-have-nonverbal-autism-heres-what-i-want-you-to-know/
https://iaminmyhead.com/2020/05/21/ryans-list-of-the-eight-best-things-to-come-out-of-social-distancing/
Ask Me, I’m an AAC user! (24 Hour Rule!)

*hashtag garble below*
(Aspie is used only for tagging purposes)
#autisticwomen #autisticgirls #femaleautism #ASD #girlswithautism #womenwithautism #femaleswithautsim #femaleASD #aspergirls #femaleaspies #autismingirls #aspienwomen #autism #aspergers #autistic #actuallyautistic #aspie #autie #autismawareness #ABA #AutismSpeaks #AustismSpeaksdoesntspeakforme #autismacceptance

09/08/2020
Al Shams Centre

Al Shams Centre

Beautiful animation explaining Autism ❤️

Awakened Neurodivergence
09/08/2020

Awakened Neurodivergence

YES! So many of us are very creative, self-aware, hyper-verbal, and loving. These stereotypes and others like them NEED TO GO.

Image: Yellow and white text on a black background, with a pastel pink, yellow, and green rainbow from Paper Boat Autism Library
that reads:

"No one is
too creative
too self-aware
too verbal
or too loving
to be autistic

Autism stereotypes can delay diagnosis. Let's leave them in the past."

Via Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network

JUST TWO WEEKS AWAY! North Texas Giving Day is the day that proves COVID-19 can’t cancel community, generosity, or kindn...
09/03/2020

JUST TWO WEEKS AWAY! North Texas Giving Day is the day that proves COVID-19 can’t cancel community, generosity, or kindness!

We are beyond grateful here at AFIL, that during such unprecedented times, we are able to keep our doors open and provide a safe and supportive environment for our residents. Proceeds from NTGD will allow us to work towards renovations such as new flooring, updated furniture, and decorating, and also go towards general operating funds to help keep our costs affordable for our families and clients.

Get ready to Get up and Give!!

09/01/2020
WLWT

"I'M OK. I'M STRONG. I'M BEAUTIFUL" ❤️️

Need a little pick-me-up today? Two-year-old Brilee smashed her fingers on the door... what happened next is the cutest thing you will see today!

(🎥: Shelbee Haderer)

Autistic Angle
08/22/2020

Autistic Angle

It’s a stereotype that boys are sensory seekers and girls are sensory avoiders. The true is...they could be either or both and it can change over time.

08/17/2020

Happy National Non-Profit Day!!! (yes, it's a thing...we checked) What better way to celebrate than noting that North Texas Giving Day is just ONE MONTH AWAY?!!

Thursday, September 17, 2020! Mark your calendars so you can support yours truly, along with your other favorite and deserving non-profits!

Spread the word!

#AfilfilledLife #NTxGivingDay

08/17/2020

Hello AFIL family and friends! Our power is currently out so if you need to reach us, please email either Sarah, Nadja, or Vanesa. We are hoping electricity will be back on by 5pm this evening! We apologize for the inconvenience.

We Are Aware
08/17/2020

We Are Aware

08/13/2020

HELLO AFIL FAMILIES AND FRIENDS! OUR INTERNET AND PHONES ARE CURRENTLY OUT OF SERVICE AND WILL MOST LIKELY REMAIN THIS WAY UNTIL SUNDAY. IF YOU NEED TO CONTACT US, PLEASE EMAIL EITHER SARAH, NADJA, OR VANESA. THANK YOU! 😁

The Chronic Couple
08/08/2020

The Chronic Couple

This is probably the number one question that I get asked so I decided to draw a post about it! A lot of my followers are fellow chronically ill folx who are NT’s, so for any of you who may not know, here’s a little info.

A meltdown is an intense response to overwhelming situations. It happens when someone becomes completely overwhelmed by their current situation and temporarily loses behavioural control. This loss of control can be expressed verbally or physically. Other behaviors that may appear are less explosive but are also common, such as refusing to interact, withdrawing from situations they find challenging, or avoiding them altogether.

Many autistic people will experience meltdowns. Neurotypicals often find it hard to tell autism meltdowns and temper tantrums apart, but they are different things.

A meltdown is not bad behavior and shouldn’t be considered as such. When a person is completely overwhelmed, and it’s difficult to express that, it’s understandable that the result is a meltdown.

Many autistic people will show signs of distress BEFORE having a meltdown, which is sometimes referred to as the “rumble stage”. They may start to exhibit signs of anxiety such as pacing, seek reassurance through repetitive questioning or physical signs such as rocking or becoming very still. At this stage, there may still be a chance to prevent a meltdown.

Above are a few of my tips! Sometimes there’s no preventing it. You just have to let it happen because it’s needed for your body to release and reset. But if given the choice, any autistic person would prefer to prevent a meltdown if given a choice.

Please add any tips that you have for preventing a meltdown below!

Image ID in comments

#actuallyautistic #meltdowns #autism #aspie #autistic #autisticadults #autismawareness #neurodiversity #autismcommunity #autismproud #mentalhealthadvocate #neurodiverse #aspielife #aspergers #spoonielife #femaleillustrator #disabled #mentalhealthmatters #spoonie #autismadvocate #neurodivergent #mentalhealth #ADHD #OCD #anxietyrelief #autisticart #EDS

Image ID: Aight pink background with the words, “Tips to avoid a Meltdown”
Below are the, “Don’t answer the phone if you don’t want to talk, Reply to messages at your convenience not the convenience of others, Be kind to yourself while dealing with uncomfortable feelings, Pick your battles everything is in a people importance, Self-stimulate or as we autistics call it stim, Make time to rest relax and recharge every day.”

Our North Texas Giving Day sign has arrived! Revving up and getting excited for the big day!
08/04/2020

Our North Texas Giving Day sign has arrived! Revving up and getting excited for the big day!

Having affirmations outside on this beautiful morning 🌞
07/27/2020

Having affirmations outside on this beautiful morning 🌞

Autistic Angle
07/27/2020

Autistic Angle

Please be understanding. Check in with your loved ones ❤️🧩

07/15/2020
UNT - Department of Rehabilitation & Health Services

UNT - Department of Rehabilitation & Health Services

Celebrate the ADA 30th Anniversary, Texas Style!

The 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is on July 26, 2020, and Texas will be celebrating this milestone all month long.

Disability Rights Texas has partnered with the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities, the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Council on Developmental Disabilities, ADAPT of Texas and other state agencies and disability advocacy groups to host "ADA 30 Texas: Moving Forward," a month-long series of FREE online events that start July 7.

The series includes a Texas-sized celebration keynote event on July 24 hosting a powerhouse of disability rights speakers such as Lex Frieden, a chief architect of the ADA, and Anne Washington, daughter of ADA author Justin Dart.

Visit the Disability Rights website for a complete list of webinars and links to registration. You can sign up for one, two, or all of them!

It's never too early to Save The Date!! North Texas Giving Day 2020 will be here before we know it. Please spread the wo...
07/01/2020

It's never too early to Save The Date!! North Texas Giving Day 2020 will be here before we know it. Please spread the word about AFIL!

AFIL - Association for Independent Living's cover photo
07/01/2020

AFIL - Association for Independent Living's cover photo

Celebrating our DORS (Director of Residential Services) today!! After over 13 years of very dedicated service to our org...
06/30/2020

Celebrating our DORS (Director of Residential Services) today!! After over 13 years of very dedicated service to our organization, we’re honored to see her off to her well deserved retirement!

Helene - we thank you and we love you. Again and again. ❤️

Address

2826 Storey Ln
Dallas, TX
75220

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 17:00
Thursday 08:00 - 17:00
Friday 08:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(214) 351-0798

Website

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