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© 2023 by inTune Pathways 

ABN 78 435 698 441

The value of the Autistic voice

March 5, 2019

 

The value of the autistic voice
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Autistic people see beyond.
.
We see through, we see behind, we see inside.
.
We rarely look at a person, place or thing and take it at face value.
.
Our wiring is beautiful, brilliant, gifted.
.
There are things we see that others don’t.
.
It is crucial for our voices to be heard in relation to the wellbeing and acceptance of today’s autistic children.
.
The first thing I recommend to families asking what therapies their children need when diagnosed later..
.
Autistic mentors. Autistic friends; social groups, support networks.
.
People who understand them
.
The ultimate in normalising their experience; who they are
.
The opportunity to unbreak the broken
.
I know this because as an autistic parent of autistic children
.
There are so many physical expressions (behaviours) that I see in my children
.
That others cannot understand
.
I’ve observed time and time again
.
Autistic children being misunderstood and analysed
.
In all the wrong ways
.
This morning, my eight year old daughter sat
.
Clapping her hands, over and over
.
Screaming, frustrated
.
I know the pathological translation of this
.
Tantrum
.
She is non speaking
.
No present opportunity to correct others when they misinterpret her
.
Even our hyperverbal autistic children
.
Misinterpreted; misunderstood
.
She sat, clapping her hands in a very specific manner
.
And screaming.
.
And I knew. I understood. 
.
I saw the reality of her need
.
Far too complex for the behaviourally fixated
.
Far too simple for the autistic person
.
It was a sound. 
.
She was attempting to recreate a specific pitch in the clap of her hands
.
She tried over and over through her frantic claps, yet methodically slowed down and carefully planned
.
The shape of her hands, her fingers strategically placed in different ways
.
To effect a particular sound
.
Her screams, her frustration
.
At the collective sounds of the morning
.
The hustling of breakfast chatter and activity
.
Her favourite music for calming effect
.
A routine she normally enjoys
.
Was but an interference in achieving that pitch; that sound
.
With a swift move in from Mum, 
.
And a redirection to a quiet area,
.
She made her sound
.
The desired pitch
.
Just perfect.
.
And the screaming ceased
.
Her peace restored
.
Her world calm once again
.
Moving on with her morning
.
Smiling, preparing for her day
.
Excited for school
.
We, autistics
.
We know these things
.
Because we’ve lived it.
.
The very things we’ve been taught to hate about ourselves
.
To reject in ourselves
.
To never speak of as young people;
.
Our lived experience offers a value and a wisdom
.
That no study, no analysis, no other approach can match.
.
I see autistic children’s behaviours broken down, analysed and plans put together to overcome them
.
Everyday
.
Misunderstood
.
Pathologised
.
Our deep, sensory connection with our world
.
Dismissed
.
Our love of sound, sight, smell, touch and taste
.
Completely missed.
.
The ways in which our minds, bodies and spirits are filled
.
Stilled by the sensory value of our environments
.
Please hear us.
.
Please accept us
.
Please value us
.
Just as we are
.
Perfect, whole and complete.
.
.
.
<3
.
.
Kristy Forbes
Autism & Neurodiversity Support Specialist
inTune Pathways
.
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Image: The Londonist.

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