*Note for information on how this website is organized please refer to this post.
The mission of Edge of the Playground is to provide strategies for people navigating autism. It incorporates advice for both autistics and autism parents, families, and friends all in one platform. Each week there is a “Take a Peek Inside” post for those who are not autistic looking to gain a better understanding and a “Monkey Bars” post giving real life advice and resources for those on the autism spectrum. Edge of the Playground is created and run by an autistic person.
As an educator, I continually look to current research as a foundation for appropriately and effectively addressing the needs of all learners. As a learning specialist, I am indebted to Mikhaela for her wisdom and practical advice as she provides an authentic context for what research reveals.. Years ago, Mikhaela’s mother and grandmother introduced me toTony Atwood. Until the birth of this blog, Atwood’s shared wisdom was the North star for acknowledging and celebrating neurodiversity. No less credible than Atwood’s work, this blog is impactful because it allows readers to walk in the shoes of an articulate spokeswoman who has experienced the Edge of the Playground first hand. Personal perspective, wisdom and humor combine to make this blog a must-follow for adults, educators, parents, and students who will surely recognize themselves as they dive deeply into this blog’s posts.
-Trish McRae, MEd
Welcome! I have created this site as a resource for both neurotypicals and those on the spectrum with a very special perspective…I also am autistic. I was diagnosed when I was 5 years old, back then there were not the amazing and wonderful resources we now have! I am beyond happy that the community has pulled together so much throughout my lifetime. I now find myself assimilated with society at this point in my life. But I all too well remember the days I was nonverbal, when I had uncontrollable meltdowns because I could not communicate the sensory overload I was feeling, and truly being happiest when I was on the edge of the playground.
Even though most people would tell you that they cannot tell I am autistic anymore, I still struggle inwardly. Simply because you learn to adapt does not mean the hard parts of autism go away. In many ways it is harder when people are not able to tell because they have no idea the amount of effort I put into my day to day life and socialization.
But there are also tremendous strengths to autism! In my current career, it has helped me in ways I know I would not have succeeded with a typical brain. This site is meant to address the great successes autism can bring and to help others on the spectrum to tap into our core strengths. We bring a great uniqueness to this world and I know for a fact we have a leg up in many skills others do not even if we do have some harder parts to deal with.
This site is for everyone. I welcome BOTH autistics and people not on the spectrum alike!
I have found there is a gap between the transition of childhood and adulthood. I worked tirelessly the first part of my life to learn the social sillies, deal with sensory overloads only to come into adulthood and find out…the rules change! How silly. Unfortunately, there aren’t exactly social skills classes for adulthood, at least not as many as for childhood. How do you navigate the workplace? What makes a coworker friend different than a regular friend? And what on earth are the social cues for dating (sorry to say all nonverbal, but I think I’ve found a way to be pretty accurate). Being on the front end of autistics that made the transition to adulthood, I am eager to share my strategies as someone who has been through it.
My site will be about life on the autism spectrum. There is certainly awareness now among typically functioning. I am here to provide a community of support for those of us going through it.
I am but one person on the autism spectrum so my posts will be but one experience. However, I do hope that my insights can provide some guidance or ideas for others. At the very least, a community.
Additionally, please know that I will be using words and phrases that I am used to. For example, being called “someone with autism” vs. “autistic” is interchangeable for me personally and I have no preference. I am aware that others do. I may also use functioning labels at times in my posts. This is not to put anyone down, but rather to help distinguish what I am addressing in a particular conversation. I try to be mindful of what language people prefer but it is impossible to please everyone as all of our backgrounds and experiences are different. For that reason I ask that we please keep debates of this kind informative and not antagonizing and focus on community.
Thank you for reading my introduction. Please join me at the edge of the playground as we make our journey to the center of the playground…conquering our fears, achieving what we did not know we were capable of, and making an impact on this world with our unique strengths.
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