First Paragraph and Already I Want to Quit

“Until recently, a commonly cited statistic stated that 50% of all children on the autism spectrum would acquire functional spoken language. Now, with earlier detection and intervention, the figure has risen to 75-90% for children who receive appropriate treatment during preschool years (Chairman & Stone, 2006). This highlights the importance3 of getting the child involved in an effective treatment program as early as possible”

(Location 266, Teaching Communication Skills to Children with Autism)

Immediately in chapter 2, the book is saying that verbal communication is the most important thing possible for children and humans in general.  I can’t help but think of the presentation that Dani Alexis Ryskamp gave at Computers & Writing in May 2015.  She looked at our society’s preponderance and almost obsession with verbal communication.

Why is verbal communication so important when there are other ways of communicating?

What is the difference between demanding that a Deaf person (who has complete hearing loss) verbally speak and doing the same for an autistic person?  The point that I am trying to get to by asking that question is: sign language is often the preferred way of communicating in the Deaf community (whether they are with other Deaf people or with hearing people).  Who are these neurotypicals to say that autistic people don’t have their own way of communicating that may not be verbal (i.e. stimming, behaviors, etc.)?  Not only that, but who are these neurotypicals to come in and say that the way many autistic people communicate is not functional?

Grr face!


2 thoughts on “First Paragraph and Already I Want to Quit

Add yours

  1. I’m submitting a paper on the same subject to DSQ in October (the presentation was the Cliffs Notes version). Because, yeah, we demand not just communication, not just communication that uses words, but communication that uses words made by the mouth shaping noises from the vocal cords, and that is absurdly reductive.

    But there’s hope. With intervention, as many as 93 percent of children with tragic neurotypical syndrome will eventually learn to type, point, or sign!


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