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The AutismHWY Roadblocks

how fastCareful Road Work Ahead,

 

Paradigm Shifting,

 

Buckle Your Seat Belts,

 

Unexplored Terrain Ahead,

 

Road-Rules; to be determined

 

Hopefully, soon!

Those are all signs I see as I traverse the internet these days on the AutismHWY. Signs, I believe we should all know are there even when we don’t literally see them. Autistic people and non Autistic parents of Autistic people trying to communicate respectfully. Ha, the impossible dream you say? Perhaps, but my readers know I am the eternal optimist even in my ‘darkest’ moments. When concepts are being driven on this “AutismHWY” by thinkers coming from differing directions without set guidelines we are bound to have many offending-fender benders. Not to mention the full blown pile-ups due to communication gaps! One wrong turn and you may find yourself teetering over a cliff. Our vehicles all have different engines and as drivers we all have unique ways of driving those engines. Sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it? So many analogies to say we are all on the same life path yet we view things in distinctly different contexts.

 

 

That’s a road block.

In real life when we have a fender bender or major collision we have it repaired or replace the vehicle and get back on the road. Back on the HWY with the same drivers coming from all of those differing directions. It should be the same way in conversations that seem to crash. Autistic adults and non-Autistic parents have the ability to partner with each other for the greater good. To benefit the generation of Autistic people already here and those in coming generations because, they are coming.  Shouldn’t we be ready? Shouldn’t we be listening closely and amplifying crucial information to the professionals and the general public!? Why then, do I always have conversational “fender benders” with other non Autistic parents that refuse to listen to the concepts of my wise Autistic friends?

 

That’s a major road block.

Which happens more and more. When Autistic people voice their concerns and grievences over attitudes and words that harm them they are scoffed at. They are demonized and called names. Non-Autistic people react childishly. They become confused by concepts that they have never before considered or taken a look at, from an alternate view. It is quite startling for some. I have seen people become defensive, paranoid and worse. It is truly dumbfounding to see the amounts of resistance and rhetoric used to battle this new information. As if they refuse to see the Autistic light.

 

Autistic traffic merging in.

Autistic people want to help! Please make room on your informational HWY for them, they are indeed the Autism experts. See their lights and signals on the AutismHWY. If they turn on their “hazard lights” in conjunction with something you have said or implied. Please examine that hazard.  If you do not easily understand the hazard seek to define what it may have been and work to avoid harmful ”hazards” in future conversations and travels. We all know that Autism revolves around the challenges of communication. So let’s acknowledge that and try harder not to go round and round an incessant traffic circle of dialogue going nowhere. Let’s make the best effort to understand each other’s differing angles and perspectives on life and Autism.

 

Best and safe practices.

Knowing the landscape and anticipating what other drivers may do. Two of the most important factors to safely traverse our world regardless of our individual modes of transport. At AutismHWY we have been dreaming of a world enlightened by Autistic people. Not a world of non-Autistic parents and professionals refusing to hear their concepts. In 2015 we now have books honoring Autistic people like; Steve Silberman’s NeuroTribes winning accolades and awards across the planet. We have Autonomous Press created by a coalition of Autistic people working with a few non-Autistic allies to amplify their words of guidance with books like The Real Experts edited by Michelle Sutton. This is where we need to be. Understanding the differentials in Autism thought and practice. We that are not Autistic, owe it to Autistic people to put our own egos aside and LISTEN. Stop being offended or defensive and truly LISTEN.

 

Ignoring the signs will not prevent collision.

All drivers are aware that we must pay attention as we travel, our very lives depend on it. We cannot ignore hazard signs on the HWY so why do we do it in conversations? Conversations that can be literally life or death for some people. Honor that. Be respectful of people even if you are not understanding their concepts immediately. Do not rush to dismiss them and minimize them (which is so often the common reaction!) Truly examine what was said. Percolate on it and work on seeing past your own lane on this HWY of life. Expanding our horizons in thought and possibility will open up the world for the Autistic kids on the rise.

 

From our view~The best kids and folks on the planet.

 

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