You can listen and understand and believe and respect autistic adults every bit as much as you do those things with autistic children. If you don’t, you’re being ageist.
This idea that people with intellectual disabilities cannot learn is a very dangerous idea and it leads to us being harmed. I think it is important to autistics with intellectual disabilities that we get the support to learn.
“For too long autistic children have been just taught what they should do to fit in a neurotypical mold, instead of being taught who they are as autistic people, and who neurotypical people are as a neurotypical people, and how to appreciate both, and build translations between the two.”
I feel things so intensely, and when that’s a good emotion, it’s the best thing in the world. I feel joy with every bone in my body. When someone else is happy, I feel it too.
When we are far more willing to believe in the capacity for communication of animals and aliens than we are in that of nonspeaking and intellectually disabled autistic people, and extend our research and creativity towards mutual understanding, no, I have to reject the assertion that “Some autistic people just can’t communicate.”
I believe that the best way to understand autistic minds is in terms of a thinking style which tends to concentrate resources in a few interests and concerns at any time, rather than distributing them widely.
I’m angry about the sudden popularity of fidget spinners, but probably not for the reasons you think. I’m not mad that they’re disruptive in class, or obnoxiously trendy. I’m furious because of what they reveal about societal power structures, and the pathologizing of disabled people by non-disabled persons.
I am all about helping parents learn from my mistakes, so they don’t repeat my mistakes. Here are five bonks I made during the early years of parenting my autistic son, and how you can avoid repeating my fails.
Full normalisation of autism would require a substantially broader concept of ‘normality.’ It would mean acceptance of autistic people who are non-speaking, an understanding of meltdowns, and general awareness of the dangers of sensory overload.
I regret that I didn’t give my non-speaking son the opportunities to display an interest in things that I assumed he wouldn’t understand. I regret that my assumptions limited him when they should have been expanding his world.