Most people don’t know that non verbal autistics are of sound mind. Upon seeing us do moves like flapping, rocking, or moaning, they assume we are unintelligent. People then proceed to talk about us as if we don’t understand what they are saying. This means we have to endure horrible untruths being said about us without being able to respond. No wonder we run off to escape elope. No one can just sit and endure that without blowing a gasket.
Sometimes people ask mom questions about me like:
“Is he low functioning?”
“Is he in regular school?”
“Will he be able to live alone someday?”
“How do you cope with his autism?”
Or best yet,
“Is he violent?”
These are all both assumptions about autism and questions I could answer myself, if asked. Sometimes mom gives the wrong answer but she doesn’t mean to. Other times I want to answer but the person doesn’t understand that I need additional time to spell my response on the letter board.
Aligning my way of communication to the verbal order of doing things is alarmingly hard. At times I feel like I’m the only one expected to change my way of doing things, but that will never work, and isn’t fair either. Anyone would think that it is just to make sure that someone using a wheelchair to get around should have a ramp, or a wide door so they aren’t excluded from places and from people. Autistics that aren’t verbal need accommodations too so that we aren’t excluded. Sometimes that requires people to make more effort than they are used to, but the work pays off when we have a woven tapestry of everyone strong together.
Let’s make it happen.
Love, Autism Henry