Have Your Voice Heard!

For my Research and Writing English class this year I have to write a paper on a topic of my choice that weaves data and data analysis with factually based interpretation of that data. My research question for this paper is:  To what extent is it possible to compare the ways in which methods of communication are being taught to autistic students who cannot use spoken language to communicate their complex ideas?

Because many existing communication methods are underrepresented in most schools, I created a survey to find out what methods students use, what they are being taught to use and how successful each is.  Additionally I am curious to know whether a student’s school allows the communication method chosen by each student to be the most beneficial, and if not, how the student then communicates their complex thinking and knowledge.

This survey uses a google form and is completely anonymous.  You will not be asked for any contact information, your name or the name of your school.

Who I’m hoping will participate:

  • Anyone, anywhere in the world, who cannot use spoken language to convey their complex thoughts.
  • Anyone who cannot rely on spoken language most of the time.
  • If you are no longer in school you can fill the survey out by remembering your experience when in school.
  • If you are homeschooled or are doing a combination of online, non-traditional-school or other learning experiences, please consider participating.
  • Parents whose child/offspring fits the description above can fill out all factual questions and those questions that are subjective can choose “other” and explain you are a parent or give your opinion and explain that it is yours.

This is the link to my survey:  Survey

I hope you will add your voice and experience by participating in my survey.  I am glad if you do.

Have your voice heard!

Banding together with our typed words,

Emma NYC


That’s me, Emma, at school this morning.  Photo credit: Mom aka Ariane Zurcher


23 responses to “Have Your Voice Heard!

  1. I LOVE you and your survey, Emma and I will share everywhere I can think of!! I am so PROUD of you and so honored to witness you and your daily life in this challenging world.

  2. Hi Emma,
    Is there a link to your survey in this blog posting? I know several people who would probably be interested in filling this out.

  3. Thank you, Emma! You’re an amazing person.

  4. Megan McLaughlin

    Dear Emma,
    I think we would all like to learn the results of your survey. Can you post your paper here after its done?

  5. Hey Emma! Is there a link to the google survey? I want to share this but want to make sure that people who are interested can easily figure out how to participate. Thanks and good luck!

  6. Hi Emma, I hope you publish your findings. This sounds like a great topic to explore. I wish you the best!

  7. What a fantastic topic to write about. I don’t fit your criteria to take the survey, so I’ll share it to help you get data.

  8. What a great idea!

  9. Rosemary Crossley

    Hi Emma, Way to go. Only problem is you can’t include the kids who’ve been given either no means of communication at all, or <10 PECS cards. We're finding guys with ASD aged 18+ who are leaving school without a means of indicating YES or NO. And who given the opportunity score in the average range or above on a Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. We're finding schools that ban electronic communication aids, because they make a noise! Rosie

    • This is an important point Rosie, and one Emma has expressed concern about. She intends to include this limitation in the first section of her paper.

      By the way, I think of you often. I hope you’re well.

  10. Is the mom of a nonverbal child able to take the survey?

  11. Reblogged this on Rambling Justice and commented:
    A student is looking for autistic AAC users, and also for their parents, to complete a survey about how aac is (or isn’t) used in schools. Or if you are no longer a student, you can complete it based on your memories of school. The student herself is autistic.

  12. Hi Ariane and Emma:

    I was curious if you are still homeschooling or if a great school was found for Emma? I am currently trying to figure this out myself for my child at the moment but will refuse another ABA school/center! Just to add, I must say I am stunned at the parents who have found and had great success with RPM yet still leave their poor kids in ABA centers. Do you have any suggestions for private schools that will welcome RPM?

    Keep up the great work Emma. You are such an inspiration to so many!


    • Hi Jane,
      Emma asked that I respond to your questions. Emma is doing a combination of schooling that includes taking a few classes at a private prep school.
      The only suggestion I have, to anyone really, is to remain open to new ideas, question everything you’ve been taught, particularly by those who speak and are not autistic and call themselves experts, find people who are using AAC devices and alternate methods of communication and see what might work for you and/or your student.

  13. Aww shucks. I was disappointed the survey was closed. 😦 I realize you were gleaning data for a school research paper, but…I LOVED the sounds of it…because…in even just your introduction about it (here) and WHY you’re doing this, you HIT a lot of resonant chords with me. Chords that no one else knows about me, nor understands about me. Is there any chance you could share the survey? Somewhere? And, of course, your paper when it’s ready? (If it’s not already here somewhere.)
    Thanks Em!!

  14. Bump. I’m interested in hearing a little of what you are up to this year Emma (if you have time)? I learnt a lot from this blog and it made me think in those early years after my son’s autism diagnosis, things are going well for him and for us, hope school is going well for you Emma.

  15. Hello,
    My name is Andre and I ‘am doing an article on the complexity and difficulty adults with autism currently have to try to apply for financial support from the Australian Government. In comparison to the financial support adults and carers with autism are receiving in the United Kingdom.
    If anyone could provide any information, from the past or current experiences that they have had while trying to apply, be denied, or receiving financial support from Centre link or any other Australian government-run organizations, I would love to hear from you.
    Is a large percentage being denied financial support?
    Are you only relying on non-profit organizations?
    Or if there are any other problems facing Autistic people from the Government, I would love to hear about that as well.
    Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
    I know Autism is a ‘bad word’ for the media and many issues are still going unnoticed, so that’s why I would like to hear from the community and make your voices heard.
    My email is andretodman5@gmail.com
    Thank you very much,
    Have a nice day.

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