Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #ListenToNonspeakers

Most recents (24)

Now that the musician Sia has revealed that she too is autistic, let's remind everyone of why her movie, Music, was a problem: it was NOT primarily because she hired a non-autistic actress, but because NONSPEAKING AUTISTIC PEOPLE were misrepresented. #ListenToNonspeakers
This page, created by @Communica1st and its partners at the time, is full of resources about how best to represent nonspeaking autistic people in media.
Read 16 tweets
Imagine that, starting in the 1970s, researchers came up with the idea that the solution to autistic people's problems was to surround them with neon yellow.

They do gazillions of experiments subjecting autistic children to neon yellow and congratulate themselves on the results.
And then, about 20 years later, the children are grown up, and in large numbers they start saying how much they hate neon yellow.
The neon yellow therapists say it's just a few opinions. so someone does a vast survey and find that 97.8% of autistic people hate neon yellow, and they prefer less intense colours.
Read 57 tweets
Rules of Engagement #WorldAutismAwarenessDay 1) foster #AutisticAcceptance 2) Believe us when we say, Puzzle Pieces DO NOT help promote #AutisticAcceptance (Dig Deeper into the very problematic history of Autism organizations to understand why)
3) Avoid using toys or childhood images to represent #Autism. #Autistics are #Autistic and will remain as such. We are #DifferentNotLess. When you use toys to represent us, it infantilizes our authentic Ways of Being. Use Rainbow Infinity or Gold Infinity symbols instead
4) Always take an #Intersectional approach to understanding #AutisticTruths. We are from all faiths, cultures, gender identities and more, but our experiences are dramatically impacted by how the world sees our diverse layers of identity and whether we are multiply marginalized
Read 9 tweets
PBS ('Positive Behaviour Support') is a harmful ABA-based behavioural intervention used on vulnerable children.

Planned Ignoring is used as a tactic to 'manipulate the environment' of the victim, to change their behaviour.

Some of us know what that's like. 😥

On #PBSAwarenessDay, we need to be more aware of HOW and WHY PBS harms people, so that after we stop PBS, we don't implement any other methods which do the same thing in other ways.

Wherever we find parents and professionals pushing for ABA-based approaches like #PBS, we also see low support for the types of communication methods that nonspeaking autistic people say they find helpful.


Read 12 tweets
Poppycock from the infamous friend of Ivar Lovaas, Ron Leaf:
"Even Positive Behavior Support guidelines included the use of strong aversives under some circumstances (Brown et al., 2008)..."
"...and Electric Convulsive Therapy (ECT) is often the recommended intervention with severe depression (The UK ECT Review Group, 2003)."

Dude, they put those people under GENERAL ANAESTHESIA so it won't hurt. It's not an aversive. Are you THAT obtuse?
Read 98 tweets

Below are links to some of my threads related to autism, autistic health, and advocacy. I'll also add a few threads by other people.

Several threads are unfinished or have perpetual additions. A picture of fractals which...
Words of nonspeaking autistic people


LINKED THREAD: Treating sensory overload

Read 35 tweets
When I advocated in front of @VaHouse for my nonspeaking child, his peers, and their teachers, I didn't realize I would be going up against @autismspeaks and @CASProviders

a thread (1/) #IStandWithNonspeakers #ListenToNonspeakers A screen shot of a Zoom wai...
A modest, but meaningful bill, HB 1047, was brought forth by Delegate Tran yesterday.
The bill would protect nonspeaking students by ensuring that -

a student's need for AAC wouldn't be used as a reason to segregate that student,

school staff receive training to support the student before school starts,

IQ test results wouldn't be used to deny access to AAC
Read 8 tweets
"Myyyy son did just fiiine with ABA! No speech until he was five, but thanks to ABA, he's now married and running his own engineering firm and blaaablaablaa!"

Yes, dear, thank you, dear. He probably would have gotten there with a bit of speech therapy or just leaving him be too.
Your son's autism is not the same autism as many nonspeaking autistic people's autism. #ListenToNonspeakers

Also, I can't quite explain why in great detail right now, but you're an ableist cow.
"He does stim, but only when and where appropriate."

Thank goodness my friends and I will never ever have to be in the same room as you. We'd be redefining 'appropriate'.
Read 4 tweets
And here we have a person on social media preaching from a position of privilege...
...While many autistic people are denied the right to even communicate at all. #ListenToNonspeakers…
"...nor is it conversion therapy."

Well, technically, you are completely correct! It is only called conversion therapy when it's applied to people who aren't cishet.

Happy now?

Read 5 tweets
The core element needed for anyone to adopt ABA for use on vulnerable autistic people is #ableism. The cult of ABA believes that ABA helps autistic children. To provide this 'help', it is important to strip the subject of their agency and to get them into self-preservation mode.
While most ABA practitioners no longer use slaps and electric shocks, all ABA regards the work of Rekers & Lovaas as part of the evidence base in support of ABA. Rekers went on to use behaviour modification against gay and trans people, while Lovaas continued with autistics.
Today there is an international movement to #BanConversionTherapy and #BanABA.
Read 45 tweets
Thank you all for your support guys for yesterday's event despite having technical issues since it's my first time using @TwitterSpaces which I'm still learning to navigate
Anyway I'd like to highlight an event that I'm angry about even now. Yesterday PAABA had an online event on Facebook which seeks to promote ABA in African countries including Kenya 🇰🇪
When my fellow autistic friends commented on the fact that they've refused to work with #ActuallyAutistic people, their comments are deleted and worse still they're blocked
Read 8 tweets
[THREAD] #AskingAutistics and allies, especially people in Africa or of African descent throughout the world: We need your help. A bad thing has happened for #DisabilityRights in Africa: ABAI has sponsored an American, Ashley Knochel, to promote ABA in Africa by formalising it.
There has been a neocolonialist trend with aggressive ABA infiltrations from America into Ghana, Kenya and other countries for some time now, including a CARD-associated organisation in South Africa; but this latest move is worse.
This American person has established a Pan-African Association of Behaviour Association along with Kenyans, and they are launching this Saturday.
Read 39 tweets
Some of us are trying to get food and transport money to mothers of autistic children, to get clinical professionals to #AllowAACinTherapy, to #StopChemicalRestraints and to #ListenToNonspeakers.

But the noise people hear out there is a chorus of "OMG, Elon Musk is autistic!"
And although I don't think Elon Musk is all that cool, I'm OK with celebs coming out; it's just that they often don't understand where some of the dire needs are, and they certainly aren't putting their money there.
When last did a celebrity autistic say #IStandWithNonspeakers? They just step aside from that part of autism advocacy because they know they'd be out of their depth; so they leave it to the professionals and the moms to speak over nonspeakers. All they needed to do is to say,...
Read 7 tweets
I have repeatedly stated that while I support the #StopSpectrum10K campaign, I am in favour of genetic and biological research. There are numerous autistic activists with chronic illness who feel the same. Some even attend biology research conferences.
We know that the @spectrum_10K do not support the social model of disability. That is not news.
It came as something of a surprise that the @spectrum_10K leaders deliberately appointed the type of people they knew would destroy the hope, relatability, community-building and support offered by people like Pete.
Read 35 tweets
Pete was a great community connecter, a good explainer and a humble learner. He was helping people who don't usually #ListenToNonspeakers realise that nonspeakers deserve our advocacy and amplification. I am angry with the leaders of @spectrum_10K who are to blame for him going.
Maybe you will say that the leaders of @Spectrum_10K are INDIRECTLY to blame. I disagree. This is squarely their fault. They enabled this, they continue to support this. They deliberately keep their ambassadors out there to say their quiet part out loud.
An organisation which finds that its representatives are not representing them well, can reel them in or dismiss them.

Read 49 tweets
“Building a Person”: Legal and Clinical Personhood for Autistic and Trans Children in Ontario (by @JakePyne)

"Despite open violence, Lovaas framed ABA as compassionate... Despite uncertain evidence, he presented ABA as scientific..."…
"Psychologist George Rekers, a key figure in the world of conversion therapy (and co-founder of the notoriously anti-gay Family Research Council), used Lovaas’s techniques to treat so-called “deviant sex-role behaviors” in male children."
The man behind ex-gay “conversion therapy” started out trying to make autistic children “normal”:
"Both projects were based on the same fundamental view: that it’s easier to change a child’s behavior than it is to destigmatize that behavior in society"…
Read 16 tweets
I wish to remind you that the BCBAs who work at the Judge Rotenberg Center are credentialed by the BACB. The BACB takes away the credentials of professionals who violate their code of conduct. The BACB code of conduct permits torture. #ABAisAbuse
Who's on the board of this organisation which tortures disabled children?
Chairman of the Board at the Judge Rotenberg Center: Henry Slucki, Ph.D.
Psychologist, Senior Research Associate at University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Department of Human Behavior
Co-producer and Co-Host of weekly talk radio program on disabilities
Read 136 tweets
Been chatting to someone who's been an autistic activist for about 20 years now. Lots of conferences, long history of writing about autism, but doesn't know any nonspeaking autistic people in his country as they "tend not to mix at conferences". DO YOU SEE THE PROBLEM?
If you're autistic and you've been doing conference and writing gigs for two decades and the nonspeakers are not mixing, it's because YOU didn't seek them out, YOU didn't advocate for communication access, and yeah, I understand that you may have other advocacy priorities, but...
Who in your country is going to prioritise this, and in what decade do you expect them to start thinking about it?
Read 16 tweets
Also, before I go there: if you're an autistic person who speaks, this is a reminder to please be alert to how some autism organisations will use you in their marketing to prevent criticism of their stance on nonspeakers.
They will say autistic instead of 'person with autism', because they know you like that. They will remove the puzzle pieces from their branding. They will have you do a guest blog post or video for them. They will even let you 'celebrate autism'. You will think they're listening.
Here's a suggestion: Write an open letter to the autism organisation which is supporting your cause and which is saying "neurodiversity" and "acceptance" now. Ask them whether they support the broad principles of the #BanABA movement. It's a simple question.
Read 37 tweets
A good way to make sure nobody speaks against ABA is to reduce people's ability to say what you don't like.
With the right supports for the various communication disabilities in autism, we could have a lot of nonspeaking autistic people communicating. Here's a thread with approx. 100 nonspeakers who have something to say.
Read 8 tweets
[THREAD] I am going to start curating resources for an Autistic Strategies Network course for autism professionals.
There is an abject shortage of schools for autistic children in my country 🇿🇦, but simply replicating what's already out there will not meet the need. We have to fix up what's currently broken. This course would be part of that, but it's not the whole solution.
The course will be constructed largely around publicly available artefacts, and one of the key learning mechanisms will be exegesis, or, more simply, comprehension tests.
Read 18 tweets
Today someone mentioned that for their psychology degree's ASD and ADHD module, they have to read ‘Autism: a very short introduction’ by Uta Frith (Oxford University Press, 2008).

Here, dear reader, is what psychology students are being taught, and it's bad.
“There are now a number of people who have diagnosed themselves as having Asperger syndrome. These individuals often call themselves Aspies, and they feel different from NTs or neurotypicals."
Bear in mind, Asperger Syndrome was removed as a label from newer editions of the DSM after this date, and the phenomenon was combined with Autism Spectrum Disorder. But students still get prescribed this. And now it gets worse:
Read 23 tweets
This is one of my fellow disability rights activists. His school had him in Grade 1 at the age of 14 and said he wouldn't progress. Meanwhile he was dreaming of learning calculus.

He was 17 when this photo was taken.

Many, many, many nonspeaking autistic people are similarly underestimated, and denied the right to robust AAC.

Their extreme movement difficulties are seen as 'behaviours' and assumed to be signs of a 'developmental delay' or intellectual disability.…
Read 4 tweets
Us: Listen to autistic people.

Them: No, you're adults. Our research is about children.

Us: We were once children, and we care about children.
Them: These children aren't like you. They can't go on the Internet and type.

Us: When we were children we didn't go on the Internet and type either.

Them: OK, but these children don't speak.

Us: We're not speaking now either, we're typing.
Them: These children don't EVER speak, and they hit their head against the wall.

Us: Yep, sounds like some of us.

Them: If you can type, you're too high-functioning to understand.

Us: Listen to yourself.

Read 4 tweets

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