realsocialskills

Anonymous asked:

I wanted to share one thing with you, one story about how what you write online flipped my impression of autistic people around. I know a kid with Down's syndrome, and his parents have friends with an autistic kid who is an incredible artist. We were working on a project and they suggested using the kid's paintings. I said 'Awesome, if he wants to, that would be great'. And they said 'Oh, no, he's so autistic, there's no point even asking him, he won't understand.' 1/3

youneedacat answered:

2/3 And I thought, wow, weird, but ok, they know this kid, they deal with developmentally disabled kids every day, they know better. And I didn’t think about it much. But then I read what you wrote about understanding, but not being able to respond. And it blew my mind. I thought of that kid, and how maybe asking him would have made perfect sense, because even if he can’t respond, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get to be asked,

3/3and it doesn’t mean he doesn’t get to at least know what people want to do with his art. Even if he doesn’t have the capacity to voice his opinion about it. Thanks for writing about the way you do and don’t communicate, and explaining that lack of communication doesn’t equal lack of personhood or awareness. I will know that next time something like this happens, and maybe it will make a difference to the DD person it concerns.

Wow I’m seriously happy that people are asking him.

Something that made me cry, later, when I was capable of crying:

Sometimes I’m incapable of showing a single signal that I am aware of anything.  Nothing.  Not with my eyes, not with anything.

Normally, I’m accustomed to even people who know me, treating me different.  At least, their manner of talking to me and their voice changes, they get nervous.  At most…  I get to learn what they really think of me, because they talk about me as if I’m not even there, including complaining about me in terms that made it 100% clear that they would not say this if they thought I was present there with them.

So I was at AutCom and I’d just given a presentation.  It was super-crowded — the AutCom conference, 3 weddings, and a Bar Mitzvah, going on all at once in this hotel.  I had a killer migraine and I was overloaded and I’d just gotten through my presentation, which I’d given by lying on the floor writhing because I couldn’t get up.  One of those days.  When it was over, a bunch of us autistic people (all nonspeaking normally), all went out into the hall in various stages of shutdown.  Larry Bissonette was pacing.  I was leaning up against a wall and I couldn’t move or even focus my eyes or move my eyes in any way.

I love Sandra Radisch’s writing and I wish I’d had a chance to meet her when either of us was more communicative.  But her staff person came up to me to tell me what my presentation meant to her.  And she did not bat an eyelash, she did not change her way of speaking to me in the slightest, she talked to me as if she was talking to any random person, even though I had no prayer of even blinking my eyes in response to her at that point.

And that meant more to me than you could believe.

If this child gets talked to respectfully and as if people expect him to understand, then he will understand.  He may or may not understand the words.  There is no way of telling even whether a very verbal person understands the words.   He may understand every word said, or none, or it may vary day to day.  

But at minimum, he will understand what it means to be spoken to respectfully — people with receptive language problems tend to do better at picking up on emotional content like that, so if he doesn’t understand the words, he will doubtless understand the intent.  And he will begin to expect to be asked.  He will expect respect.  And when respect is not given, he will react badly.  And that is the beginning of self-advocacy for people with very severe communication impairments.

But he will also possibly remember the first time he was ever asked, for the rest of his life.  When nobody ever asks — it means the world.  It meant the world to me, and I’m nowhere near in the position of being underestimated as thoroughly as this boy is.  Talk to him. Include him.  Ask him things.  Talk even if you expect no response.  It will mean something to him.  It could mean everything to him.

realsocialskills:

dephinia:

"lack of communication doesn’t equal lack of personhood or awareness. "

^THIS, y’all.

We place so much emphasis on verbal communication that we forget that:

1) loudest does not equal right
2) most articulate/verbose does not equal right
3) there are other ways of communicating
4) which are no less valid
5) if someone has difficulty communicating in a typical or expected way that does not make what she/he wants to communicate invalid or unimportant
6) our lack of capacity to listen/understand does not equal lack of value/importance of the message!!

Listening and awareness are skills that must be practiced and developed as much as talking, and yet we learn so many anti-listening skills. LISTEN.

realsocialskills said:

Yes. And also, if you see others involved in someone’s care write that they “have no communication”, it’s particularly urgent to figure out ways they communicate and document them.

Even if you’re not sure. Even if they’re ambiguous. Document that. Eg “Bob says infrequent and hard to interpret words.” or “Bob waves his hand in response to questions”.

The consequences of being seen as incapable of communication can get really horrible really quickly, so if you’re in a position to counter that, do so.

ahighfunctioningmadmanwithmagic

last-griever:

alwaysri8:

gaybrielandasstiel:

thespooklock:

thespooklock:

so my plan for halloween is to dress up as a Nazgul with my black horse and go trick or treating but instead of saying “trick or treat” i’ll either scream or hiss “Bagginssssssssss, Shhhhhhhire” and then ransack their villages in my search for the One Ring

image

i bet

image

you guys

image

thought

image

i was joking

oh dear god

HOW MANY PEOPLE DID YOU TERRORIZE

OH MY GOD

hrive-ithiliel
perspicious:

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:    Stay with us and keep calm.The last thing we need when we’re panicking, is to have someone else panicking with us.
Offer medicine if we usually take it during an attack.You might have to ask whether or not we take medicine- heck, some might not; but please, ask. It really helps.
Move us to a quiet place.We need time to think, to breathe. Being surrounded by people isn’t going to help.
Don’t make assumptions about what we need. Ask.We’ll tell you what we need. Sometimes; you may have to ask- but never assume.
Speak to us in short, simple sentences.
Be predictable. Avoid surprises.
Help slow our breathing by breathing us or by counting slowly to 10.As odd as it sounds, it works.


WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T DO:1. Say, “You have nothing to be panicked about.”We know. Weknow. We know. And because we know we have nothing to be panicked about, we panic even more. When I realize that my anxiety is unfounded, I panic even more because then I feel like I’m not in touch with reality. It’s unsettling. Scary.Most of the time, a panic attack is irrational. Sometimes they stem from circumstances — a certain couch triggers a bad memory or being on an airplane makes you claustrophobic or a break up causes you to flip your lid — but mostly, the reasons I’m panicking are complex, hard to articulate or simply, unknown. I could tell myself all day that I have no reason to be having a panic attack and I would still be panicking. Sometimes, because I’m a perfectionist, I become even more overwhelmed when I think my behaviour is “unacceptable” (as I often believe it is when I’m panicking). I know it’s all in my mind, but my mind can be a pretty dark and scary place when it gets going.Alternate suggestion: Say, “I understand you’re upset. It is okay. You have a right to be upset and I am here to help.”2. Say, “Calm down.”This reminds me of a MadTV sketch where Bob Newhart plays a therapist who tells his patients to simply “Stop it!” whenever they express anxiety or fear. As a sketch, it’s funny. In real life, it’s one of the worst things you can do to someone having a panic attack. When someone tells me to “stop panicking” or to “calm down,” I just think, “Oh, okay. I haven’t tried that one. Hold on, let me get outa pen and paper and jot that down, you jerk.”Instead of taking action so that they do relax, simply telling a panicking person to “calm down” or “stop it” does nothing. No-thing.Alternate suggestion: The best thing to do is to listen and support. In order to calm them down without the generalities, counting helps.3. Say, “I’m just going to leave you alone for a minute.”Being left alone while panicking makes my heart race even harder. The last thing I want is to be left by myself with my troubled brain. Many of my panic attacks spark from over-thinking and it’s helpful to have another person with me, not only for medical reasons (in case I pass out or need water) but also it’s helpful to have another person around to force me to think about something other than the noise in my head.Alternate suggestion: It sometimes helps me if the person I’m with distracts me by telling me a story or sings to me. I need to get out of my own head and think about something other than my own panic.4. Say, “You’re overreacting.”Here’s the thing: I’m not. Panic attacks might be in my head, but I’m in actual physical pain. If you’d cut open your leg, no one would be telling you you’re overreacting. It’s a common trope in mental health to diminish the feelings or experience of someone suffering from anxiety or panic because there’s no visible physical ailment and because there’s no discernible reason for the person to be having such a strong fear reaction.The worst thing you can tell someone who is panicking is that they are overreacting.Alternate suggestion: Treat a panic attack like any other medical emergency. Listen to what the person is telling you. Get them water if they need it. It helps me if someone rubs my back a little. If you’re in over your head, don’t hesitate to call 911 (or whatever the emergency services number is where you are). But please, take the person seriously. Mental health deserves the same respect as physical health.

CREDIT [X]  [X]

perspicious:

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
    
  1. Stay with us and keep calm.
    The last thing we need when we’re panicking, is to have someone else panicking with us.

  2. Offer medicine if we usually take it during an attack.
    You might have to ask whether or not we take medicine- heck, some might not; but please, ask. It really helps.

  3. Move us to a quiet place.
    We need time to think, to breathe. Being surrounded by people isn’t going to help.

  4. Don’t make assumptions about what we need. Ask.
    We’ll tell you what we need. Sometimes; you may have to ask- but never assume.

  5. Speak to us in short, simple sentences.

  6. Be predictable. Avoid surprises.

  7. Help slow our breathing by breathing us or by counting slowly to 10.
    As odd as it sounds, it works.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T DO:

1. Say, “You have nothing to be panicked about.”
We know. Weknow. We know. And because we know we have nothing to be panicked about, we panic even more. When I realize that my anxiety is unfounded, I panic even more because then I feel like I’m not in touch with reality. It’s unsettling. Scary.

Most of the time, a panic attack is irrational. Sometimes they stem from circumstances — a certain couch triggers a bad memory or being on an airplane makes you claustrophobic or a break up causes you to flip your lid — but mostly, the reasons I’m panicking are complex, hard to articulate or simply, unknown. I could tell myself all day that I have no reason to be having a panic attack and I would still be panicking. Sometimes, because I’m a perfectionist, I become even more overwhelmed when I think my behaviour is “unacceptable” (as I often believe it is when I’m panicking). I know it’s all in my mind, but my mind can be a pretty dark and scary place when it gets going.

Alternate suggestion: Say, “I understand you’re upset. It is okay. You have a right to be upset and I am here to help.”


2. Say, “Calm down.”
This reminds me of a MadTV sketch where Bob Newhart plays a therapist who tells his patients to simply “Stop it!” whenever they express anxiety or fear. As a sketch, it’s funny. In real life, it’s one of the worst things you can do to someone having a panic attack. When someone tells me to “stop panicking” or to “calm down,” I just think, “Oh, okay. I haven’t tried that one. Hold on, let me get outa pen and paper and jot that down, you jerk.

Instead of taking action so that they do relax, simply telling a panicking person to “calm down” or “stop it” does nothing. No-thing.

Alternate suggestion: The best thing to do is to listen and support. In order to calm them down without the generalities, counting helps.


3. Say, “I’m just going to leave you alone for a minute.”
Being left alone while panicking makes my heart race even harder. The last thing I want is to be left by myself with my troubled brain. Many of my panic attacks spark from over-thinking and it’s helpful to have another person with me, not only for medical reasons (in case I pass out or need water) but also it’s helpful to have another person around to force me to think about something other than the noise in my head.

Alternate suggestion: It sometimes helps me if the person I’m with distracts me by telling me a story or sings to me. I need to get out of my own head and think about something other than my own panic.


4. Say, “You’re overreacting.”
Here’s the thing: I’m not. Panic attacks might be in my head, but I’m in actual physical pain. If you’d cut open your leg, no one would be telling you you’re overreacting. It’s a common trope in mental health to diminish the feelings or experience of someone suffering from anxiety or panic because there’s no visible physical ailment and because there’s no discernible reason for the person to be having such a strong fear reaction.

The worst thing you can tell someone who is panicking is that they are overreacting.

Alternate suggestion: Treat a panic attack like any other medical emergency. Listen to what the person is telling you. Get them water if they need it. It helps me if someone rubs my back a little. If you’re in over your head, don’t hesitate to call 911 (or whatever the emergency services number is where you are). But please, take the person seriously. Mental health deserves the same respect as physical health.

CREDIT [X]  [X]

hrive-ithiliel
khaleesi-mother-of-fandoms:

thursdaysangel-tuesdaysdemon:

mytra-fallen-angel:

a-pancake-and-a-grumpyangel:

Guys, I need your help. My local mall has a shop that sells TARDIS shower curtains, and I really,  really  want to get one and decorate our bathroom accordingly - color scheme and all, as in the picture above.  BUT, my mom is refusing to let me do it (she claims that “that would not be an acceptable thing to do to a family bathroom”.)  I hope to prove to her that it is acceptable, and that it would be cool as heckie, but I need at least 100,000+ notes. It’s only she and I living in our house. To be completely fair, I make up half of the people who use the bathroom regularly. Whovians, Superwholockians… please help a fellow fangirl out?

You have Our support 


LET’S GET THIS PERSON A HELLA RADICAL BATHROOM



ALRIGHT WHOVIANS, YOU KNOW THE DRILL - THIS HUMAN WANTS A TARDIS SHOWER CURTAIN, AND WE’RE GOING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN! TO YOUR REBLOGGING STATIONS! ALLONS-Y!

khaleesi-mother-of-fandoms:

thursdaysangel-tuesdaysdemon:

mytra-fallen-angel:

a-pancake-and-a-grumpyangel:

Guys, I need your help. My local mall has a shop that sells TARDIS shower curtains, and I really, really want to get one and decorate our bathroom accordingly - color scheme and all, as in the picture above.
BUT, my mom is refusing to let me do it (she claims that “that would not be an acceptable thing to do to a family bathroom”.)
I hope to prove to her that it is acceptable, and that it would be cool as heckie, but I need at least 100,000+ notes. It’s only she and I living in our house. To be completely fair, I make up half of the people who use the bathroom regularly. Whovians, Superwholockians… please help a fellow fangirl out?

You have Our support 

LET’S GET THIS PERSON A HELLA RADICAL BATHROOM

ALRIGHT WHOVIANS, YOU KNOW THE DRILL - THIS HUMAN WANTS A TARDIS SHOWER CURTAIN, AND WE’RE GOING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN! TO YOUR REBLOGGING STATIONS! ALLONS-Y!