Monday, October 21, 2013


Autism. Mainstream. Inclusive. Non-inclusive. Integrated. High-functioning. Verbal. Non-verbal. ABA. RDI. IEP.

Words, all just words, and lately I find people increasingly focusing on the words of diagnoses and I'm frustrated. These words put so many ASD kids in a box that isn't easy to escape, through no fault of their own and the best of intentions of the community at large. Awareness is crucial but unfortunately with such large numbers of kids being diagnosed, with much of the awareness comes stereotyping and generalizing. There is no clear standard as to what works with autistic children and adults. People will argue about which therapy works best and colleges and universities teach future educators specific therapies as the be-all/end-all. STOP!

Don't box them in, get to know them. Pay attention to what she's saying but where her eyes are following. Notice his hand-flapping but see the fear in the furrow of his brows. See the jumping but embrace the joy in the smile on her face. The world sounds and feels so different to him and while he reacts differently then "typical" people, don't presume he isn't thinking like Socrates. Take the time to know them and patiently help the thoughts cross from mind to expression of words. 

Patience. Try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised with your world.

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