145232090_0b36699c45-1210192

“Can My Child Ever Learn to Speak?” Authentic Communication and Autistic People

Photo © Kasia_Jot | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: Photo of a young blonde girl standing outside a wooden door painted with aqua paint. Her legs are crossed at the ankle. She is holding on to the door handle with one hand.] Ann Memmott annsautism.blogspot.com Often, in my consultancy and training work, we get questions such as, “Can my child ever learn to speak?” The answer to this is important, because, for a lot of parents of newly diagnosed autistic children, it’s easy to become misinformed or misled on this point. A number of organisations will be keen to tell such parents that without their ‘ACME Treatment X’ or ‘Potion Y with Added Secret Ingredient,’ their child will never speak, never learn to communicate. The parents may be told that most autistic children who do not use speech at (say) four years of age will never do so. “Early intervention to enforce…

Everything Is Always Shifting and Inconsistent: Autism, Language, and Listening

TPGA is observing Autism Acceptance Month by featuring accounts from autistic people about the differences accommodations (or lack thereof) make in their lives. Today’s story is from M. Kelter, about how listening — really listening — to autistic people about their experiences is a crucial accommodation, even when it’s a work in progress. M. Kelter theinvisiblestrings.com In 2005, after a long period of social isolation and depression, I began therapy and received an autism spectrum diagnosis. I discovered early in this process that describing my internal experiences was easier if I wrote them down. After each session with the psychologist, I would go home and write out everything I could remember from our discussion. I would then read that “transcript” to myself several times, so that I could go into the next session with a sense of what to elaborate upon. Basically, writing out our discussion functioned as a thought…