Two. When you are angry, do not respond.
Three. Do not decide when you’re sad.
Big dogs who think they are lap dogs.
A beautiful creature! Borzoi?! My heart, she cracks down the middle!
We interrupt this morning’s Disney programming for a new segment that I’m going to call “If This Isn’t Obvious To You, You Need To Find A New Line Of Work Immediately.”
I heard a story yesterday that I haven’t been able to shake, mostly because it’s not the first time that I’ve heard it. A support person - someone who has chosen to make a career working with autistic children - took a nonspeaking child’s communication device away from him because she didn’t want to give him what he was requesting. The last time that I heard a similar story, the aide had taken the device as punishment.
You wouldn’t duct tape a typically developing child’s mouth or tie down the hands of a deaf child who uses sign language to communicate, and you do not, under any circumstances on God’s green Earth have the right take a communication device away from its user.
You do not EVER block access to a human being’s voice. Ever.
— Diary of a Mom Facebook page, 5/18/14 (via ausomekids)
There are people who would do those things (tie down a deaf child’s hands). But otherwise, yes this
A few months ago, there was a spammer going around promoting an AAC app in any autism-relevant Facebook group they could find. She happened to post in a group I’m very active in.
She linked to a Youtube video discussing this app’s features. She was really proud of one feature in particular. The parent/teacher/therapist could change the voice output on specific icons to the phrase ‘not available.’ For example, if the user wanted to say ‘popcorn’ when ‘popcorn’ was disabled, the icon would still appear, but the voice output would say ‘not available.’
Three members of the group ended up having a long conversation with her about this. (She was an unusually responsive spammer.) We explained that there is no equivalent way of doing this to a non-disabled child that’s not abuse. If your child is requesting McDonald’s and you’re not going to give them McDonald’s, you cannot physically prevent them from saying that particular word. You can duct tape their mouth shut and prevent them from saying anything at all, but that’s generally regarded as abuse.
Her response to that was “It’s abusive to decline your kid’s demand for McDonald’s?” We could not get through to her that not giving your kids what they want is different from physically preventing them from saying what they want. We could barely get her to acknowledge that this was limiting the user’s communication. Her take was that if the user could *see* the icon, everything was just fine. Even if they could no longer use it to communicate. Anyway, why would anyone want to use a word for an object they couldn’t immediately attain?
She was a Speech Language Pathologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She wanted to stop perseveration. She wanted to know what letters we had behind our names. Did we know how to stop perseveration better than her?
It’s terrifying that the communication of disabled kids is routinely entrusted to people like this. That the basics of how communication works are entirely disregarded when the person communicating is disabled, whether it’s for the sake of convenience or some behaviorist dogma.
Taping down signing Deaf children’s hands used to be normal. I don’t know how widespread it is now, but it used to be What Was Done to force them to speak.
I’ll write more about the AAC end later, it’s pretty triggering for me.