Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Presume competence

Ever since I've become open about being autistic I've seen just how shitty people are to autistic

people. I spent over 2 hours trying to explain to someone on twitter why accusing me of lying about 

being autistic was disrespectful to me. She thought that because I could type my thoughts on the 

internet and her son couldn't meant I wasn't really autistic. The thought probably never crossed her 

mind that maybe her son can communicate, and she just doesn't know how to listen to him. When 

you presume someone is incapable of something you'll never give them the chance to try. I've heard 

stories about non-verbal autistic adults who were thought to be intellectually disabled because they 

were unable to speak, but when they were taught how to use augmented communication devices they 

found out they actually had a lot to say and were highly intelligent. There's a saying in the disability 

self-advocacy movement: preseume competence. If you've got a child with a developmental 

disability don't just assume they're never going to amount to anything. With the right support youd 

be suprised at whatpeople with developmental disabilities can do given the right support and 

encouragement. It's not fair to your child to never give them the opprotunity to grow just because 

you don't think they're capable.