Virulent shoots hamper process
ingrates they throw everything into chaos,
disruptive and noisy I shout the same thought
weeding out the bad from the stillness.
Whispering calm directives – keep it cool, Emma –
but the thrashing divas hold the spotlight and won’t exit without a fight.
Timing is crucial.
Nobody can help bring order to the bothersome braying
that brutish tyrant who won’t allow others the time or space.
Patience is needed.
I am here
sometimes insistently so
but there is so much more to discover.
Posted in Autism, autistic, Autistic communication
Tagged AAC, Communicating, communicating through typing, communicating without language, fans, loud, noise, perseveration, poems, poetry, RPM, song, spoken language, typed communication, verbal stimming
Let’s talk about needing green minds, eager thinking, waiting for butter to spread onto toast. Let’s talk about excitable pink ideas, ah-ha moments of lovely surprise filling the cavernous space of other understanding. Now we can behave differently.
None of wisdom’s stars ached for commonly held beliefs without questioning them all.
Have you asked yourself whether the awareness campaigns are helping?
What exactly have they made you aware of?
Does your newly found awareness help you understand an Autistic person?
What about Autistic neurology?
Do you believe you understand what the brightest minds in the world admit they are baffled by?
How about treating Autistic people the way you would hope to be treated?
I vote for love and laughter.
Laughing in Red
Posted in Autism, Autism "Awareness", Autism Acceptance
Tagged Autism, autism and communication, Autism Speaks, autistic, Autistic neurology, Autistic person, Awareness, cavernous space, communication, laughter, Light It Up Blue, LIUB, love, RPM, typing to communicate, Understanding, WalkinRed2015
Mom prepares me,
but nothing can inoculate fear colored blue
masked in lights, shining brightly.
The terror seeps through.
Awareness disguised as tolerance is not the same as love.
An uneasy embrace may appear affectionate,
but can feel worse than a slap.
Words said with anger are not kind,
no matter what each word means by itself.
choose many feelings,
but please do not choose blue.
Posted in Autism, autistic, Autistic communication
Tagged acceptance, actually autistic, Autism Speaks, autistic, awareness campaign, communication, Do not Light it up blue, fear, Light It Up Blue, tolerance, WalkinRed2015, Words
Food understands emotions in ways no words can, but sometimes the body disagrees and chaos ensues. Mind begins to roar and everyone feels misunderstood. Trying to appease all parties is impossible.
Have you ever felt full, but ignored the body’s message and eaten more or eaten foods your body is not friends with? Do certain feelings prefer certain types of food?
Understanding that some foods emotions are in love with are enemies to the body is a devastating realization. Being kind to all involved is challenging and maybe only a few people have truly accomplished this.
Posted in Autism, autistic, Gastro-Intestinal Issues
Tagged Anxiety, appetite, communication, Compulsive overeating, eating, eating when full, emotions, food, picky eating, RPM, Stress, types of food, typing to communicate, unreliable speech
Hearing music alleviates anxiety and welcomes dappled drops clasping gleeful feelings, radiating inward and outward simultaneously. Like bursts of intense flavor, music explodes in the body. Only a few stoic souls can ignore its command to move. Dancing is the healthy choice. Turn on your favorite music and give yourself permission to become a part of those notes.
Digging through ghostly shards
pummeling the words that shout from within
understanding too much,
the vice grip of constant anxiety
offers the spoken words access that no one can fully know.
I fight to voice what I mean,
but “Mindy” and “Rebecca” crash through
and grab the microphone from my hand
that finds tenuous comfort in the string
I wrap around and around like a carousel.
Posted in anxiety, Autism, unreliable speaker
Tagged autistic, communication, poem, poetry, RPM, spoken language, spoken words, unreliable speaker, unreliable speech, unspoken language
Needing time to learn, understanding concepts and refining techniques are all done on separate timelines. Best to approach each with curiosity and patience, with a large dose of belief in the other person.
Ticking clocks of expectation become toxic. Learning to believe is the homework for all educators. Belief in another’s humanity, respecting different learning styles and compassion for all makes a great teacher and student.
Having a wonderful teacher is life changing.
Posted in autistic, presume competence, RPM
Tagged Autism, believe, Education, Educators, expectations, learning, Patience, teachers, teaching, unreliable speaker
Wavering, derelict shouts hold different ideas about want.
Careening words push and shove their way out of my mouth,
the chatter cannot be reined in no matter how hard I try.
My mind is a starving questioner
with a body that pushes mute buttons in people’s minds.
Moments looking for connections to the two separate entities
knowing the possibilities are within reach,
if only I could beat those troublesome, noisy words back
to give the more contemplative thoughts equal opportunity.
Change is upon us.
Look around. What do you see? Do you see changes in your life?
Backwards movement can be labeled bad, but sometimes it is not. Maybe like human evolution, lasting change must be slow.
Meandering along with inevitable change benefits some, whose go-with-the-flow attitude is like starlings flying in formation, but if only a few break away, everything changes.
Have you ever watched starlings?
Aren’t they beautiful?
Oh, how I should like to be one of the starlings to lead a new way.
Posted in Autism, communication, RPM
Tagged autistic, change, evolution, going with the flow, human evolution, leadership, leading change, starlings, starlings of Otmoor, typing to communicate, unreliable speaker
This is a story about a teen girl chasing a dream to be a singer, despite being unable to talk…
The first time she heard a voice being used as an instrument, was the day she would mark as euphoric. How hard able bodied people have to work to make their visions come to life, caused her to doubt whether she could dare to desire such a career for herself. Speaking was almost impossible though she was given the tools to sing words by hitting letters on a keyboard. She knew with determination, practice and patience she could, at least, try. A challenge she embraced and will tackle greedily.
Easy and challenge are not friends, but joy and challenge can be.
Find joy in challenges and life changes.
Posted in Autism, autistic, Teens
Tagged career, challenges, communication, dare to dream, dreams, hard work, joy, Performing, RPM, singing, spoken words, Typing, typing to communicate, unreliable speaker
I have a piece of writing to share.
When your eyes are drawn to a mirror, what do you see?
Is it familiar or unfamiliar?
Do you like what you see?
There may be a struggle with recognition. Stay with it.
Imagine something beautiful.
Make yourself smile and hold it.
Recite a favorite story or joke. This can be done in silence or in speaking.
Repeat your name however you would like to.
Do you like what you see?
The End ~ By Emma Zurcher-Long
Mirror, Mirror, What do you See?
(A note on Emma’s post. Because this is a fictitious dialogue that Emma wrote, for clarity’s sake, I asked her if it was okay to put the Autistic person’s words and thoughts in italics and the non autistic’s words in quotation marks. She agreed. My part of the conversation is in parentheses.)
For today’s blog post, let’s pretend you are the Autistic one and I should be the non autistic.
“Oh dear! Why are you hurting yourself?”
(I asked Emma whether the Autistic person could use spoken language to speak.)
You can’t speak and I will talk for both of us, it will be more authentic that way. Maybe you talk, but not with the words that best describe what’s in your mind.
“I don’t understand, do you want to go outside? Why are you biting yourself? Does that mean you do?”
You are thinking about expectations and how hitting yourself takes away the pain of not being understood and unable to say the words that will help.
“Here! We will go outside. It’s a beautiful day.”
I don’t want to go outside. I want to read a story.
Pointless bottling emotions of endless frustration cause words to wither in the recesses of the mind. Biting becomes the only way to stay rooted, but causes everyone watching to respond in loud voices of angry fear. Until there is understanding, you are alone in the terrible confusion of other people’s voices that are louder than yours.
Caution is needed whenever we decide we know what is in the mind of another human being.
Ceramic Dish of Hope ~ Made by Emma
Posted in autistic, misunderstanding, Parenting
Tagged assumptions, Autism, biting, dialogue, miscommunication, misunderstanding, non-speaking, presume competence, Pretend Play, self injury, Understanding, unreliable speaker
Freedom, Fear And Questions concerning Autism
Barking in the terrible terror that comes with being something so feared and hated.
Daring tremendous love for those who fear.
Healing tears for those who are in brutish pain.
Freedom from hurtful words about cures for being a part of the human race.
Help me so I can communicate.
Give me an education so I can learn.
Treat me as you want others to treat you.
Cheer me on.
Remind me of all I am capable of and focus on what hinders you, but don’t hurt me because I do not experience this world as you do.
We can learn from each other, but learning requires an open and willing mind. Too many have given us fear instead of hope.
Which, when, why, who, where – we ask.
We are all capable of being kinder, more compassionate, more loving to others and ourselves.
*A word from Ariane – Emma became very upset while writing this and began banging the table with her fists and then bit herself. When I asked if she was able to continue, she typed, “No. No more. No more.” – I asked her if she was okay with me adding this here. She typed, “yes.”
Emma ~ 2015
Posted in autistic, life, Parenting
Tagged Autism, autistic, compassion, Cure, encouragement, fear, freedom, kindness, love, pain, terror
This is Merlin
Nothing vanishes without questioning Merlin’s participation in the disappearance. He never admits to wrong-doing, but instead greets the attention with purrs. Even dog lovers fall under Merlin’s spell, charming the most biased minds to rethink what they had assumed true of all cats.
Merlin is unusual because he plays fetch and follows his favorite humans around with devotion. If you don’t like cats it is because you have not yet met our Merlin.
But if you ever lose something, don’t blame Merlin. He had nothing to do with it.
Merlin approved this post. 🐾
Merlin among the cookie jars
Posted in Autism, Creative Writing, Parenting
Tagged assumptions, Autism, autistic, cats, cats vs dogs, creative writing, essay, homeschooling, Parenting, pets, RPM, Typing, typing to communicate, unreliable speakers, unschoolling, writing