I’ve written about Ido and his book and blog, both entitled Ido in Autismland, before, ‘here‘, ‘here‘, and ‘here,’ but want to devote today’s post to Ido’s latest blog post because Emma and I read his post this morning and Emma added some of her own thoughts to what Ido wrote.
Ido begins by talking about having just finished up his junior year at a non special education high school. (I originally wrote “regular,” but then amended that because I no longer know what any of these words even mean, much less how derogatory they sound.) Ido then addresses parents and then professionals and finally ends the post with a few encouraging words to other Autistic non-speakers.
After Emma and I read his post, I asked Emma what she thought. She wrote, “I thought it was decidedly helpful to read Ido’s writing. He tells strong truths lived. Teaching wasted talkers about life not run on word fuel.”
“Word fuel.” Can we just take a moment to fully appreciate that? “Teaching wasted talkers about life not run on word fuel.” There’s more, so I will disregard my urge to just end this post with that.
I asked Emma if she had anything she wanted to add to the paragraph he addresses to parents. Emma wrote, “Parents – you must address your fears and doubts first, and then have caring words of encouragement for all word thinkers.”
I then asked for her thoughts on the paragraph addressed to “professionals”. Emma wrote, “Teaching tedium does nothing, but water down ideas. Lethargy is the lesson learned.”
“Lethargy is the lesson learned.”
Ido ends his post with a few words directed to Autistics like him. Emma then wrote, “Work today, knowing each day pleases the necessary work of tomorrow. Having hope, and loving, believing parents will make work easier.”
“Lethargy is the lesson learned.“
Wow. I wish I could have had Emma 20 years ago when I was trying to explain to the relatives why homeschooling was the only option for my Aspie.
This is utterly fabulous! Thank you Emma and Ariane. ❤
Wow. Two great posts for the non-price of one! I followed the link to Ido’s post and read that first. It is such a beautiful, insightful and powerful essay. I hope everyone reads it, because it is an important message directed to parents, professionals and other autistics.
When I read Emma’s comments on Ido’s post, it was hard for me to grasp what Emma meant by this: “Teaching wasted talkers about life not run on word fuel.” I think that Emma meant that it is difficult for people who talk all the time to learn what life is like for someone who doesn’t speak well–whose life is “not run on word fuel.”
If that was Emma’s meaning/intent, it is certainly a true statement in my case. As someone whose life is decidedly run on word fuel, it is indeed hard for me to imagine what my life would be like if I were deprived of speech. How frustrating it would be for me to make myself understood–my needs, desires, fears, goals and passions. That frustration would be multiplied exponentially if everyone assumed that my lack of speech implied a lack of comprehension, intelligence and complex thought.
It must have been absolute torture for Emma. And yet, she is miraculously forgiving, kind and compassionate. I admire her so very much. I admire Ido so much. For anyone who needs a hero to inspire them, Emma and Ido are as heroic as anyone I’ve ever known.
Interesting comment Richard! To be honest, I wouldn’t have thought of it as being deprived of speech, but as the opposite of being bombarded by speech. But it’s definitely true that being misunderstood in any circumstance is profoundly frustrating.
I loved Emma’s words, my first thought was how wonderful the gifts are that exist in silence.
“How wonderful the gifts are the exist in silence.” Yes.
Words are really very limiting. Concepts don’t have to be expressed in words or even concrete images. Word fuel….I like it.
Wow. Have my thoughts for the day! And my word fuel. Thank you, Emma. Just thank you!
Two wonderful posts by young advocates! Very meaningful (and meaning full). Thank you, Emma, for your thoughts!
(Neurological Adopted Aunt – I like that title! 🙂 )
I took ‘wasted talkers’ to mean those that know not what they say because they listen not to those that think way beyond words.
Another fabulous mixture of word spices from Emma! Food for dreams as I head off to bed! x
Emma nails it again! Renewing my campaign to educate against “teaching tedium”! Thank you Emma and Ariane!
I love your poetry Emma. You rock those words girl! You spit them them out like old Samuel Clemens, full of spitfire you are. Keep it coming. I hope you guys can visit our blog, read my latest post. I’d love yu to join and comment.
Funny – I read the “wasted word fuel” differently than some here in that I thought it meant we sue words too much. Written or spoken. So will just write: LOVE
trying not to get diarrhea of the keyboard and overwrite…LOL
Emma, your words are beautiful and true. My heart thrills to read them, the same way it thrills to read Dickinson. You have so much understanding of the truth of life at such a young age. Please keep telling us.
Ariane, she’s such a gift. Thank you for sharing her with us.
Wow just wow. Emma, so insightful and brilliant.
Correct me if I’m wrong, please:
When I read your (Emma’s) words, I see pictures, almost as if I’m seeing a movie within my mind. (Pictures are my native language: I might manage words adequately, but there are some concepts that need pictures for me to comprehend them properly).
I’ve known for nearly thirty years that ‘I write better than I talk’. It’s as if I grow a brain beyond the issued one when I write, and that brain is a different one from the one which was (abusively( trained to ‘act normal’ / ‘please my normal owners’.
Continue your current mode of speech. I’ll second, third, and increment to the cube power what others have said about the poetic aspect of your language – it’s compressed, lyrical, marvelous, and says a great deal with few words. More, it’s altogether emphatic in its meaning – and that, in a world filled with meal-mushed blur-shaded abtruseness, is a blessing and a relief.
dennis (no capitals, like edward estlin – not!)