Perspectives on Autism and Neurodiversity
Winter 2017 - I decided to write a review for this class because I discovered just how important bruinwalk reviews are for students (and how much I appreciate it when people take the time to write a review). And this has no reviews at all. I loved this class, more than I expected. This class is holistic, such that it really offers you ALL perspectives of autism, including the "legislative" part of autism and barriers to receiving help. The work is light. There are two "textbooks," which are actually more like novels that you read. There are also articles assigned each week, but they rarely keep track. I'd recommend reading them though. You write three essays and give a presentation of your final research paper at the end. Attendance is mandatory, but it's more like if they know your name and face by the end of the quarter, and you've reached out, went to office hours, they give you participation points. Make sure they know who you are. I also loved the format of our class. Each week, prominent guest speakers of the autism community (from different backgrounds i.e. perspectives) will come and talk about their work. The majority of "lectures" were guest speakers, and sometimes she would talk herself (or Judith Mark, her co-instructor). We also were required to go to a disability policy conference (it's paid for), and was awesome. Our class was smaller, around 30ish students (compared to Spring 2017, when they said it would be larger) so it was more intimate. They said that the structure of the course may change, so I don't know if they'll still do that. Linda is great. She is actually a cardiologist in the medical school, but she's knowledgeable about autism and all the perspectives behind it, including a self-advocate, biological, etc. perspective. She's kind and modest about her own work. She'll help you as much as you can-- you just have to ask for it. Judy was equally as helpful and kind. This was the most influential and interesting class I've taken at UCLA, especially due to its structure and content. I feel like this was an example of why I attend UCLA, to take classes and have opportunities like these. Take it.
Fall 2019 - ~Autism through the eyes of a rich white woman~ Judy Mark has to be one of the worst professors I have had at UCLA. She has no understanding of what it means to be a working student and repeatedly told her students they need to be putting school over their jobs (sorry but school isn't keeping us all fed and paying for doctors bills), pretty much avoided ever talking about socioeconomic and race intersections except for when she had one black speaker to prove shes not ~racist~ and thought it was totally okay to make fun of a students PTSD and then kiss them and proceed to refuse an apology after student expressed discomfort. Honestly was disappointed as hell with the disability studies dept after taking this nightmare professor.
Summer 2020 - This is an amazing class. Professor Tarleton is so nice, thoughtful, and enlightening. She combines her decades of real-life experience teaching independent living skills with a strong background in disability rights, neurodiversity, and autistic history. She is very kind and warm. She has a lot of respect towards everyone and makes the class a great space for autistic people like myself, our family members, future autism professionals, and everyone who wants to better understand those of their fellow human beings who are autistic. She makes the class very interesting and is a wonderful grader.