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© 2023 by inTune Pathways 

ABN 78 435 698 441

  • Kristy Forbes

The canaries in the coalmine

Updated: Feb 25

Our autistic children are change makers.

Free thinkers.

Paradigm shifters.

But their greatest challenge is emotionally, physically, energetically surviving modern society.

In many ways, we are served, given a voice and more opportunities due to technological advances (largely created and designed by our autistic community).

But in other ways, we are dominated, reprimanded, corrected, by the constant projection of the needs of others and the expectation to meet them.

There is great importance placed on politeness, courtesy, respect.

But in conditional ways, for particular people, at irregular times, to serve certain agendas.

Honesty being considered a characteristic of a disordered brain is a bright red blasting alarm bell in a society where ‘keeping the peace’ or being a decent person equates to adhering to unspoken, ever shifting goals to meet the needs of others.

And in that process, dismissing a holistic perspective of ourselves, outside of our ability to say “please” and “thank you” and avoid mentioning anything that might trigger an insecurity in another who rather than take responsibility for their own lives..

Labels a person rude or inappropriate-in particular, children.

Autistic children.

Respect, politeness, courtesy are all important values.

We should guide our children in cultivating them..


We should teach our children to use their intuition about who they should extend these too.

We should teach our children to extend these attributes to themselves first.

Because it’s true, that if we do not have self respect and love then we can not have it for others.

When our children’s words offend, hurt, shock or cause disapproval..

We should teach them why.

Not by roting mindless, nonsensical lines about them being impolite.

Because we know their intention; their motivation is a million miles from this.

We should teach them, rather, that human beings possess more insecurity and self rejection, more sadness and despair than they do self love.

We should teach them that the words and actions of others can trigger deep wounds within them, causing pain to resurface.

We should teach them that many adults are the result of generations where honesty, emotion, authenticity was not safe for them.

We should teach them that many of us are products of a society that prioritises conformity, and that a large part of conformity requires the shutting down of many parts of us.

We should teach them that they now, without choosing, are taking responsibility for those of us who can not regulate, who can not take responsibility, who lack the skills and resources to heal, affecting change for future generations.

We should teach them that they are here to clean up a great mess.

But we won’t.

It isn’t our children’s autism that is the problem.

Our children are the canaries in the coalmine.

They highlight the secrets, the sadness, the rage and the desperation that so many of us have passed down and down and down..blindly, mindlessly, ignorantly.

We should teach our children that they are pure love.

Kindness. Authenticity. Honesty.

That they are leading change, evolution, a great paradigm shift.

And we, as their parents and those who love them should do all in our power to protect them from being wounded by the same wounds we carry.

Children are not the enemy.

Honesty is not the enemy.

We have been conditioning, shutting down the voices and experiences of the very people-the children; who bring to us fresh and new perspectives; the potential for change, who are untouched by insecurity or self doubt or self loathing..

Until we create it, instill it, stir it with our own compliance born of fear.

Why would we not learn, open our eyes and our ears to the new?

There is wisdom in naivety.

Many children move past the stages of hypersensitivity and alternative, fresh perspectives later in childhood.

Most autistic people do not.

We still question everything.

We say things we feel with no idea that our deepest curiosities will offend and upset.

We try to fit. We try to shut down the cynicism, the skepticism.

We try to be more simplistic in both our processing and our being.

And we become chronically ill-mentally, physically, spiritually ill.

Because, we are not born for conformity or compliance.

Change makers we are.

Let us ensure that our children aren’t broken adults before they realise their true worth, before they realise their autistic being is beautiful and purposeful.

We must nurture this now.

And we start with acceptance.