Belief in Our NonSpeaking Autistic Selves

We are delighted to introduce our new friends Meghana and Chetan. This poetry writing, brother and sister duo from Minnesota type to communicate using FC.  Meghana and Chetan joined us for our first Open Mic at the Neurolyrical Cafe and everyone was astounded by their deep and insightful poetry. They have honed their poetic writing skills through their work with poet and educator, Chris Martin of Unrestricted Interest.We are so pleased to welcome them as this week’s guest bloggers and are confident you are going to love their poetry and advocacy as much as we do. 

~Elizabeth Vosseller

 

Autistics can modulate themselves fairly well considering their years of experience. However, the intensity of sensory experiences can be so dysregulating for some that the brain and body cannot stay in synchrony for extended periods of time. We strongly urge autistics to find a good and gentle balance between maximizing their brains and centering calm, while also being realistic about what they can do on a daily basis without attacking themselves or others. First and foremost, no one wants to hurt themselves or another person, but the intensity of brain and body challenges for people on the spectrum can be very challenging. We mask to considerable levels to hold up with societal expectations. The masked emotions start to turn into anger and distress. Also, an autistic may be overly active in some thinking processes and far less active in others. The gaps cause chronic stress, anxiety, and disarray, leaving us unfocussed and uncentered. The most critical thing for anyone on the spectrum is having supportive people who will hopefully hear, understand, and respect our wants, feelings, emotions and ideas. Also, please presume competence in us.

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, I-ASC, Autism, nonspeakers, Poetry

Presuming Competence

1.

Outcasted for being Autistic
Depressed in our minds
Fighting for our voices 

Solace wasn’t coming
Our brains were thinking
But lips weren’t synching

Echoes everywhere
Visions in dismay
Senses dysregulated 

We were called dumb
Life was not fair
Cruelty had no end  

Hurt to an extreme
Our hearts were crippled
But never dead inside 

2.

Singled out in life
Influenced by our anger
Questioned the norm 

Corrupted by society
Experts do not understand
How Autistics truly function

Modest in our expression
Trained to keep mum
We do not fully share 

Captive in our senses
Bothered by stress
Triggered by anxiety 

We cannot function
Protecting our sanity
Consumes our day 

3.

Prepared for our future
Built our courage
To shape our lives 

Showcased our intelligence
Created distinct sentences
With our keyboards 

Built trust in our competence
Corrected misconceptions
Eased our pain 

Celebrated our wins
Forgave everyone
Started anew 

Simplified our lives
Prioritized safe, sane,
worry-free goals

Priceless are our brains
Creative are our senses
Genuine are our hearts

4.

Help us live our lives
to our hearts’ content
Ask us what our hearts desire

We love to contribute
with our specialized skills
and different wiring

Respect our dignity
Follow our lead
Into a neurodiverse future 

We are longing
to be treated as equals
Please open your hearts
to give us a chance

Please don’t blame us for behaviors, instead constructively support us. That is what we did when a friend of ours recently got upset. If our nonspeaking friend can use his day to really speak his mind he would be far less distressed. Hence communication is extremely critical, especially for nonspeakers. The society has lost its mind and threw FC or assisted typing out of the window. Communication is a critical basic right. Once we can put our voice to our hearts and feelings, we will still need to occupy ourselves in constructive ways, such as healthy schooling, rhythmic and poetic expressions of our heart, value add employment, and behavior counseling. Health and fitness and cohesive relationships. Enough sleep and rest, lots of healthy challenges and breaks. There is no other way out to stabilize any human.  

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, I-ASC, Autism, nonspeaking

Proper care was not taken to understand neurodiversity. We experience life like neurotypical people, but look at life through very granular lenses. We are highly intelligent and super-focused in our abilities to gain insights into ways the universe and life operate. We have sensitivities that lead to significant distortions to our inner self. We lose focus on daily living, unable to master how to stay balanced on every plane we experience. It makes us look and feel inadequate, but autistics are stronger contributors to the community than many understand or appreciate. Our life passion is to remind people not to focus on what we can’t and please support us with minimizing our struggles so we can maximize our contributions. If there is one community that can fully experiment and showcase to people the values of neurodiversity there will be far more recognition and healing for autistics. That’s why we collaborated and co-founded Autism Sibs Universe, a non-profit with the mission of simplifying the lives of people on the spectrum. We also co-blog online.

 

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, I-ASC, Autism, nonspeakersMeghana and Chetan Junnuru are nonspeaking autistic siblings.  No one can tell from their writings that they cannot even tie their own shoes
After recently learning how to utilize a keyboard, they started teaching their family and teachers what they are capable of, what it feels like to be in their bodies
In just a few months, they went from nonspeaking and unheard to penning a prominent blog and presenting at conferences and events, to spreading the message of the fantastical and hyper-capable autistic mind.

With the support of others in the autism community, they launched ‘Autism SIBS Universe (ASU), a nonprofit organization. Their vision is to create an innovative and sustainable, person/family/community-centered cohousing community for those with autism.

 

The mission of I-ASC is to advance communication access for nonspeaking individuals globally through training, education, advocacy and research.  I-ASC supports all forms of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with a focus on methods of spelling and typing. I-ASC currently offers Practitioner training in Spelling to Communicate (S2C) with the hope that other methods of AAC using spelling or typing will join our association

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