I really love the blog, "Mama Be Good". She recently posted a blog called, "Shaming People for Who They Are".
I replied. There was discussion about Deaf Culture and its parallels in Autistic Culture. In the responses, there was also talk about the film, "Wretches and Jabberers", which is a documentary about two non-speaking adults with autism who use FC to communicate. I have also been reading neurodiversity blogs....and trying to figure out what the neurodiversity 'culture' means for educating children with autism. It appears that the people on the neurodiversity side of the fence want their children respected, not pushed, not put into ABA programs, want to build on the strengths of the children, rather than their deficits.
Well, I believe I do this. However, I have concerns....the two men in the "Wretches and Jabberers", Tracy and Larry use supported typing to communicate. I have seen the film, and their facilitators put their hands on the shoulders of the typists. It is pretty clear that the words they are typing are their own; the facilitators would have to use mental telepathy in order put the words in the 'typed words' of two men. However, I have also been involved in and carefully read the FC research. Scientific research has shown that when using FC in a test setting with individuals with autism, the individuals type the word that corresponds to the image the facilitator sees, not the one the individual sees. Pretty clear- lots of FC is not words the individual is typing, but words the facilitator is typing.
So I used the phrase, "Are Tracy and Larry exceptions to the rule?" (the 'rule' being that much of what passes for true communication in FC is really influenced by the facilitator. The 'rule' I was referring to was not the non-speaking persons with autism are not smart, do not think and feel, but that a lot of FC research shows that the communication is not authentically the communication of the person with autism.
That said, I know several adults who use FC and it is their words they are typing, not their facilitators.
So I received a reply to my comment from a woman who belittled me and ridiculed me. She said that it was awful that I was an 'educator' and 'therapist' who thought that non-speaking adults on the spectrum were stupid, deserved to be put in their place, and that I could not see 'any neurology that was different from my own as valid'.
And she said that as an educator and therapist I should NEVER .. look to the FC research with disbelief...
(But research is research and one cannot suddenly throw the research out).
So, I had a couple of comment discussions with this poster, who claimed she did not intend to ridicule me, but that she had met many educators who do not believe in different neurologies and believe in making the person with autism the most 'normal' they can be.
And I went back to this conversation today so I could cut and paste this posters comments....only to find she had deleted them.
So, cold feet? She didn't trust her own words?
She DID ridicule me even though my question was about what the neurodiverse movement meant for me.