Monday, November 1, 2010

Autistic people communicate

        To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.
          ~Anthony Robbins~

   When my boys were younger, they were non verbal. They did not have words, and yet they communicated.  They did not have the internet, and yet they communicated. My children did not have cell phones or touchpads or keyboards, and yet they communicated. They have ALWAYS communicated.  I simply had to listen.

Today there is a call for a "communication shut down" in which people are staying off of the internet in order to raise awareness about autism-specifically non verbal autistic people. This is supposedly to teach non autistic people what it feels like to have no means of communication. I think that this is a mistake. I think that if you want to raise awareness about autism, you should listen to what autistic people are saying.  Autistic people communicate.  They always have.  People just need to learn how to listen.

So today, instead of shutting down-I'm going to open up.  Below is a list of autistic bloggers. I encourage everyone to go on over and read them..but more importantly, listen to what they are saying.
Autism Blogs Directory
Autistics speaking Day


@jencull (jen) said...

I am totally with you on this and blogged about it myself. There is a great buzz today on Twitter, so many people joining in:) Jen

Jean said...

I couldn't agree more. I really think they have (with the best of intentions) missed the point. XXX

Floortime Lite Mama said...

I TOTALLY hear you
Love this
I want to speak about Autism
Not be silent about it

And to your points - our auties are always communicating
Its our ability to really hear that is the issue from their perspective

Kim Wombles said...

:-) Making my rounds through bloggers on the spectrum in my free time this morning!

Tammy said...

I agree. We can talk all we want, but it doesn't do any good if others don't listen. I will continue talking about autism and my son, until they do.

Anonymous said...

Excellent Post and point - Love, Ei

Cheryl D. said...

I'm not shutting my communication today either!

Karen said...

So glad you stopped by! And I'm glad to know others who are not shutting down today either. I have been on Twitter all morning and will continue to be my kidlets allow, of course! :>

Here's to #AutismShoutOut and making our combined voices strong!

The Untoward Lady said...

Thank you for setting aside a day for us, as autistic people, to have our voices heard. Too often I feel that our voices are being drowned out by the voices of concerned third-parties.

Parents of autistic people should have the right to speak but at the same time it is so important for people who are part of our lives to realize that they need to step aside so that we may exercise the community which is rightfully our own.

I suppose I have been cynical but it is nice to see that at least one person "gets it."

@Tammy: I think you missed the point entirely.

Jennifer said...

In the spirit of opening up and viewing blogs of autistic persons, I encourage you and your readers to participate in research with autistic adults, not just about autistic adults at the Gateway Project ( In just 20 minutes, you can register to be a part of the project and support research that is considered relevant by the autistic community.

db said...

Very well said.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Totally agree Kathleen. I'm in a different position because my boy with aspergers has no communication difficulties - all my issues are with Smiley, who has cerebral palsy (and no speech - yet). If I keep quiet I am helping no-one, so I will keep on writing and 'shouting' about the special needs of my kids, in the hope that some people are listening x

jazzygal said...

I guess I saw it a little differently. I shut down, for most of the day.

My guy was semi verbal... I guess is how I'd put it. His language was delayed.And he communicated too.... by screaming and tantrumming. A lot!

Maybe I mistakenly felt I was supporting (or acknowledging??) the frustrations and difficulties that Autistic children feel by joining in?? It definitely raised awareness 'cos everyone was talking about it!! And hopefully they raised funds ;-)

Admittedly I kinda gave in towards the end.... I was missing too much! Info, news and chat so I returned briefly to Twitter!!

And maybe that's the point too??

Then again parents are the children's voices so it doesn't do to stay quiet really... does it ;-)

xx Jazzy

Stephanie said...

I really don't get the communication shut down thing. You're totally right: even when my autistic boys' were non-verbal (and one of them still is) they communicated. Alex communicates. Most people just don't pay attention and aren't willing to deviate from their own modes of communication in order to understand.

Jana said...

way to speak up and let your children's and others' voices be heard

Angela said...

great post.

denise said...

Hehe. My internet was out for over five weeks- I come back only to find that some people think I wasn't 'supposed to' use it on a certain day, in a show of solidarity with my non-verbal daughter. What a load of crap! Thank you, Kathleen, for speaking out against it.

What the hell does the net have to do with being non VERBAL ? Shoot. The only blog that I read with any sort of regularity is yours [because I like you], I refuse to get a cellphone, I call twitter users 'twats', and I sincerely wish everyone would stop using the internet as a way to communicate, EVERY DAY. Just because :)