Confession Time: Today was TOUGH

WARNING: MULTIPLE TRIGGERS ALERT.

Today was TOUGH.

My day started innocently enough…

Having an early morning conversation with someone who has known me a while, who makes the comment: “You? You cannot be autistic. You seem normal to me.”

Now, it is nearly 9 am…

…Sitting in a nearby cafe having breakfast when I look up. I have new neighbors. Their young girl is autistic, roughly six years of age and has started therapy, 30 hours per week. What I see makes me literally sick to my stomach:

 

Their young autistic daughter is hand flapping, looking away while they are talking to her. The mom takes her daughter’s head, trying to force her daughter to look at her. The young one struggles and screams at the top of her lungs, but the mom will not let her head go until her daughter makes eye contact. The daughter, after what seems to be an eternity, finally slumps in a heap onto the ground and makes direct eye contact with her mom. I quickly run out to confront them. However, I am too late…

The two parents force their daughter back on her feet, having her walk between both of them as they crossed the street.

I make a beeline for home, and once in my sanctuary, I start rocking to and fro…rocking to and fro…rocking to and fro…my speech escaping me. I can still hear that child screaming…

Why this reaction? Where does it come from?

When I was a young girl, I was labelled ‘retarded.’ I had trouble with speech…

I used to flap my hands…

I was taught that this was ABNORMAL and WRONG.

I was taught that…’Normal’ folks do NOT flap their hands.

I still kept flapping, and so, when I flapped my hands…

 

THIS was the CONSEQUENCE.

I was given restraints and put in a dark room in isolation.

THIS was the MEASURE used to make me appear ‘normal.’

THIS is not HELPFUL.

THIS. IS. ABUSE.

 

Now…

 

I am an AUTISTIC adult, recently diagnosed…

I am a PERSON of ABOVE-NORMAL intelligence…

I can SPEAK…and ASK

Please treat ALL with DIGNITY and LOVE.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published by

Del's Shej

Autistic. Advocate. LGBT. INFJ. Xian. LOVE art, coffee, intelligent conversation, music, singing

8 thoughts on “Confession Time: Today was TOUGH”

  1. Wow, I am beyond sorry that you had to witness this! I’m so sorry for both you and that little girl. I totally agree with your assessment of the situation. Comforting thoughts of peace and healing sent to you both. Hugs offered, too ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Liberty of Thinking (great name!) for the reply and hugs! This was in a part of Canada. I do not agree with ABA (at least the type that I received) based upon the following:

      1. Restraining someone who needs to focus by flapping their hands is not the answer.

      2. Asserting that AS children sit quietly so they can “pay attention” and be “table ready” when flapping or doing some other stimming actually helps them listen and concentrate is, in my view, illogical.

      3. Stating that the allistic way of communication is the ONLY way of communication is not helpful, and can even be harmful at times, to those who cannot express themselves by speaking.

      4. The view that Autism is a list of flaws that can be ‘fixed’ through therapy will not make an autistic person any less autistic. Autism is complex, a neurological difference that is part of an autistic person and cannot be removed.

      5. I have learned to ‘pass,’ at least to a point. I learned it on my own and in my own time. However, I find it exhausting and can only do it for short periods of time.

      Thus, I think that parents should pose this question to any potential therapist/person working with an AS child: How will this therapy benefit this AS child, improve their self-esteem and self-confidence, and help them to lead a good, fulfilling life? I believe that most people have good intentions, and want what is best for their AS child(ren).

      Sorry, I went on a rant. Keep also in mind, that these are my OWN personal thoughts and experiences. I do not claim to speak for others.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very tragic. I pray for that little girl and for you. I’m autistic and was also shamed for being so. People also tried to force me into an NT mold. Thank god I was not diagnosed until 38 so I did not have to endure “therapy” especially not 30 hours of it.

    Like

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