These were pretty incredible, and overwhelming. Several comments on youtube from autistic individuals confirm that this can be exactly what it’s like with sensory issues. I wasn’t able to watch them at full volume so as not to disturb others, but even without full volume several of the simulations were overwhelming. Hopefully these simulations, put together by autistic individuals, will help people who love/care for autistic friends/family members to understand the challenges of every-day experiences. If we understand, we can help.
I don’t have the words…
A great attitude for any parent; and an inspiration to do one little thing that reaches out to make a difference for someone. “each one of us can and does make change happen one person at a time.”
Last night I was on Marc Rosen, Nick Hale and James P. Wagner’s blog talk radio show Human Potential. You can listen to the show by clicking on the link provided. The show focused on “The Importance of Allies.” I was really honored to have been asked on the show, particularly given my past and the things I once believed about autism and my daughter. I certainly did not begin this journey as an ally and so it is with a great deal of gratitude that there are those who think of me as one now.
One of the things I forgot to mention last night as we talked, was this idea I’ve had ever since that day when I found Julia Bascom’s blog, Just Stimming, and specifically her post “The Obsessive Joy of Autism.” It’s an idea I’ve tried hard to put into practice these past…
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“We have to stop calling difference in experience or expression absence of existence.”
This was very enlightening, as I’m not aware of how I learned things, when I learned things. We neurotypicals have a linear view of skills acquisition that we need to let go of in order to understand and respect our autistic peers. Perhaps by letting go of this linear “requirement”, we can ourselves more room to learn and grow as well.
Important for adults to know as well.
I think because we neurotypicals (non-autistics) tend to speak a “similar” language that we make assumptions about how others communicate. But theses assumptions are cultural and not all of the “rules” carry over from culture to culture. Body language is different, the same gestures carry different meanings (eye contact, hand gestures, etc.). By opening our eyes, hearts and minds we can learn much and cross bridges of communication we didn’t know existed. Stop, look, listen, and don’t take things for granted – a great policy in general 😉
I am increasingly convinced that we need to come up with a different set of milestones for how less verbally-inclined people learn language. Over and over, I see studies where researchers and educators work very hard (and not always successfully) to get autistic kids to meet the various stages of typical language development… contrasted with numerous stories in which autistic kids, teens, and even adults finally acquire language skills (verbal or written) in unexpected ways after years of ineffective therapy (well-known examples include Carly, Emma, Tito, Larry and Tracy, and more recently Drew, Mike, and Ethan).
Sometimes, the language acquisition is described as “sudden” or “umprompted.” Other times it is the definite result of deliberate struggle. But in either case, it seems clear to me that the professionals invariably mis-evaluate the person’s communication potential because they are looking for the “typical” developmental stages rather…
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April is autism “awareness” month. Knowing “of” autism isn’t enough. Reading about what it “is” from the outside isn’t enough. Postulating, guessing, interpreting what we see, or what we think an autistic person is experiencing isn’t enough. We need autism ACCEPTANCE – to accept that people on the spectrum are “Different, not less”. We non-autistics need to be Autism Explorers – looking to autistic authors/bloggers/facebookers, etc. to discover the ACTUAL experience of autism. We’re on the outside, looking in – let’s engage so we can understand, so we can become partners in the experience.
Knowledge is power.
in the thick of thickets in a wood so dense and gnarled
the very thought of it renews my panic.
It is bitter almost as death itself is bitter.
But to rehearse the good it also brought me,
I will speak about the other things I saw there. (Dante’s Inferno )
I’ve seen this passage quoted before by others in order to explain what it’s like to grow up autistic and not knowing. It’s still by far the best explanation of that feeling I’ve ever read.
For Autistics Speaking Day this year, I want to say something unequivocally. And it’s incredibly rare that I feel qualified to just tell other people what they should do, but—if you are an autism parent—
Please tell your kids that they’re autistic.
Or have autism. Or Asperger’s Syndrome. Or are on the spectrum. …
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