if you have a child with autism, this does not make you an autistic parent.
do you know what makes you an autistic parent? having autism and also being a parent.
(Image description: A partial screenshot of a blog post. The title reads “How I reduced screaming and verbal stimming in my child with autism”, and below that is a colour photograph of a hand holding a rectangular plastic “clicker” device.)
I think I may have mentioned this blog post, and the sadness and confusion I felt when I came across it, in one of my videos. This screenshot is from the blog of an “autism parent”. Yes, that is a clicker. Yes, she is encouraging the use of animal training methods on Autistic children. Yes, she considers any kind of vocal stimming, not just screaming, to be a “bad behaviour”. To top it all off, her blog banner reads, “Discovering SOLUTIONS to the Everyday Problems of Living with AUTISM”. Here is an excerpt from her tutorial on how to train your disabled child like a dog to have a “Quiet Mouth”:
Third, I sat back and watched my child. Since he was making bad noises, I decided to reinforce Quiet Mouth (i.e., lips together, no sound). Whenever he had a split second of Quiet Mouth, I immediately tagged (made a click-sound with the device) and handed over a treat. Every time his mouth was Quiet, I tagged (clicked) and treated. Soon there was much more Quiet Mouth behavior. When doing this it is important to ignore and pay no attention to vocal stims or screaming. Do not look at the child, do not speak to him/her or explain. Just say nothing, and immediately tag and treat as soon as there is even a split second of Quiet Mouth. You can also tag and treat a child for any appropriate vocalizations. If he/she says a nice word, or makes an appropriate comment, then tag and reinforce that. Your goal is to increase Quiet Mouth and appropriate vocalizations.
And sadly, as bad as this attitude and treatment of Autistic children is, this is a relatively tame example when compared to the other unethical treatments, therapies, and methods of discipline that Autistic children are being subjected to every day (all in the name of making them appear less obviously Autistic). This is why we need Autism Acceptance Month and not the fear-mongering, negative, misinformed “awareness” that Autism Speaks and its allies are pumping out this April.
We need acceptance because Autistic children should be loved and accepted wholly and completely for who they are, not hurt and mistreated in their parent’s frantic search for a “cure”. Because Autistic people deserve to be treated with respect and listened to, not silenced and forced or coerced to conform to an ableist, non-disabled ideal. Because Autistic children need accommodation and understanding to live healthy, happy lives, not sketchy “treatments” and intensive, soul-crushing “therapies” to try to make them appear more neurotypical and less Autistic.
For more information on ASAN’s Autism Acceptance Month, see the about page on the website here: http://www.autismacceptancemonth.com/about/
This is so upsetting it made me cry.
This is why we need acceptance, we are treated like animals. No thought given to why their child might be making those noises, just that it’s an annoyance to be eradicated. What if the child was trying to communicate something important???
I didn’t cry, but otherwise I felt the same as you. I imagined what it would be like if I had had this sort of thing when I was little. I already have a thing about being afraid no one cares what I’m saying (because I was told this fairly often as a kid, usually by other kids) and where I would rather not say anything at all, ever, than say something and be rejected or shut down for it. (I remember a lot of times when I was an older kid, like tween or early teens, trying to go as long as I could without uttering a single word.)
I imagine, if I had been treated in the manner described above, that I’d have those same issues but with ten times the intensity.
How the fuck is treating kids in a way almost indistinguishable from the feminine boy project okay? At all?
The same people assume non-verbal (or almost non-verbal) people can’t communicate by ignoring or, in this case, completely suppressing, other communication they don’t approve of… and then decide they’re tragic burdens because of it? This is communication, and it matters. And “training” someone to only say or do what you approve of is massively harmful. I consider myself really lucky in that I’m usually NT-passing/verbal and always have been (it’s a double-edged sword, but that’s a post for another day), plus we don’t really have much of this Autism-Speaks-type-bullshit in the UK, so I don’t think I was ever really at risk of being subjected to this sort of thing, and I still have a ton of issues with preferring to stay as quiet and compliant and ideally-just-vanishing-from-the-room-so-I-won’t-take-up-any-space as possible rather than say something that anyone could have a vaguely different opinion about, so I can’t even imagine what things like this could do to people.
Some other things that are wrong with this:
- For the umpteenth time, if you’re not autistic yourself, you’re not the one living with autism. ”Autism” =/= “living with an autistic family member, who is apparently a tragic burden rather than, I don’t know, a person”.
- The bit at the start about not being able to cope with constant noises sounds very very familiar. Although, of course, when an autistic (or hypersensitive for some other reason) person complains about this, we’re told we’re over-reacting, or imagining, or selfish, etc.
Are you a piece of art because I’d like to nail you up against a wall
Endless List of Favorite Movies
[3/?] The Book ThiefWords are life, Liesel.
The idea that fertile people with vaginas shouldn’t have PnV sexual intercourse until they are ready to get pregnant assumes that all fertile people with vaginas want to be pregnant someday, which is a laughable and absurd assumption.
Also weird how they assume every pregnancy after marriage will be wanted.
Cats who can’t figure out walls [x]
PLEASE TAKE YOUR CAT TO THE VET IF YOU SEE THEM DOING THIS BEHAVIOR OVER TIME.
It’s called “head pressing” and it occurs in dogs and cats.
Head pressing is characterized by the compulsive act of pressing the head against a wall or other object for no apparent reason. This generally indicates damage to the nervous system, which may result from a number of varying causes, including prosencephalon disease (in which the forebrain and thalamusparts of the brain are damaged), or toxic poisoning.
http://www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_resources/toxoplasmosis.cfm (head pressing is listed as a symptom)
http://sevneurology.com/patients/clip-multilobular-osteochondroma (About a dog’s brain tumor but head pressing is listed as a symptom)
I wasn’t going to reblog this until I read the important caption dang thank you!!!
when fans of a thing make you dislike a thing