Emma is featured on the blog – Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism today in their Slice of Life series that they’ve been running through the entire month of April. For those unfamiliar with TGPA, it is a blog for and by autists and parents of autists. On their website they write: ”Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (TPGA) is the resource we wish we’d had when autism first became part of our lives: a one-stop source for carefully curated, evidence-based information from autism parents, autistics, and autism professionals.”
As Emma couldn’t answer many of the questions, I put together a scrapbook of photos, an audio clip of Emma singing, combined with her answers to the questions she did answer either verbally or through typing. A couple of the questions I did my best to answer with my own thoughts, whether Emma would agree with them or not, or how she might have answered them were she able to, I do not know.
In preparing the various “answers” for the Slice of Life series I read many of the other profiles TPGA has run everyday this past month. It was through reading those other profiles that I felt compelled to write the Fear post last Friday. I fell into that hell of comparing Emma to others, adult autists and other autistic children profiled. Each and every profile seemed to me to show someone far more “advanced” according to NT standards than Emma. Because of those feelings, I felt all the more determined Emma should be represented, even if her answers were through other methods of responding than by the more traditional verbal answers.
“Our goal is to help TPGA readers understand that autistic people are people who have interesting, complicated lives and who are as diverse and varied as any other population united by a label.”
There are so many things people believe regarding autism that I would like to help dispel. Here are a few of them:
Just because someone cannot speak, does NOT mean they have nothing to say.
Just because a person cannot say, “I love you,” does not mean they do not.
Just because a person is not able to express their feelings in ways neuro-typicals can recognize, does NOT mean they do not have them.
Just because someone does not look at you, does NOT mean they do not see you.
Just because someone appears not to hear you, does NOT mean they do not.
Just because a person has been diagnosed with autism does not mean they cannot learn. It may take longer or it may be quicker than a neuro-typical child, but they can and do.
Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is the site I wish had existed when Emma was first diagnosed. It is the blog I urge anyone who is autistic or with a child who is, to go to.
*And if you haven’t already done so, do vote for your favorite Top Autism Blogs, (you can vote for as many as you like.) I hope Emma’s Hope Book will be one of them!
To read my most recent Huffington Post, click ‘here.’
To read my guest post on Special Needs.com, click ‘here‘