Sunday, May 23, 2010

Parents Pushing Therapies

On LinkedIn, in addition to scam therapies and nutcase "cures" for autism, parents keep asking for ways to "help" their children "become normal." Some of this is a desire for a better life for the child, but there is also a selfish desire to interact with the child in a comfortable way. People don't like atypical minds -- we're uncomfortable.

"Repairing" or "recovering" a child seems cruel to me. Let minds evolve at their own paces. And embrace differences, don't try to "fix" people who experience the world and process data in a different way.

There are days when I have no desire, no energy, to speak. The effort to organize and prepare speech is draining, a conscious effort to assemble thoughts in a way others will accept and respond to -- like having to translate from English to Chinese.

I have to mentally, often slowly, convert idioms and metaphors I hear into the visual "language" of my mind. Then, I have to take those mental images and translate back into English. In the process, things can and do get mangled. When writing, I can pause and revise each line, but speech is a different and more frustrating / exhausting task because of the immediacy.

Society demands I adapt if I want to engage in activities, even an attempt to change society. It would be nice if people could realize how much horrible, true physical pain speech can be. Sharp, horrible, cruel pain.

I still have nightmarish recollections of speech therapy. That was 35+ years ago of, "Look at me. Say three. This is three. Say three." I have nothing nice to say about the various "therapies" I endured. Nothing. I wish the therapists could endure something equal to the torture, so they'd comprehend what they are doing.

And the, "But look at what they helped you accomplish" line is a lousy, illogical response. Imagine painfully dying someone's skin and then telling that person, "Hey, we helped you overcome racism!" Gee, thanks.

3 comments:

  1. Have you ever written an article about your feelings on this? It would blow people's minds!

    I hope you do write something specifically for the autism community and share this.

    That would be seriously great!

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  2. Sadly, I found the parents and educators aren't ready to consider my experiences might reflect that of their children or students.

    One told me, "I'm sure my son would be happier speaking."

    That certainty is hard to challenge. Parents want their children to offer feedback. They want to hear a child say "Mommy" and "Daddy" and offer hugs. They want something closer to "normal" -- and I don't (can't) promise that will happen.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, it's true. And I understand it. But your personal experience is gold. I guess because my son is 13yo I'm ready to hear it.

    I have 2 other friends who have asperger's and I love getting their feedback and hearing their opinions. Of course, I do. They're living it.

    ReplyDelete

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