All right, Spellers, we are headed into that time of year, which some call the “most wonderful time”, and others find difficult, and many find to be a mix of both fun and stress. What does this have to do with advocacy and Spellers & Allies? I say the more regulated we are, the better we spell. And the better we spell, the more we show the world that these are our authentic voices. Whether we like it or not, we are watched in the store, church, theater, and street. So let’s figure out how to be our best selves in this time.
I find the lights and hoopla of the holidays to be painful at times. The sensory assault is heavy. It wasn’t until 2021 that my parents learned that the decorations and tree lights stirred me up and put me on edge. 2022 was a much more regulated December for me, as all the extras stayed in boxes in the attic!
Even if your family doesn’t celebrate anything in December, it’s hard to avoid the lights, music, parties, and change in routine the season brings. Try to advocate for yourself and tell your support people what you need—or what you need to avoid. Since we often lack initiation skills, and lessons are a great platform for discussion, I have attached a free lesson on this topic that you can use at the bottom of this post.
If you are a person who thrives on change, noise, parties, and lights —well, you are set! But if you need some extra help during the holiday season, advocate for what’s best for you. And, Spellers, reach out to each other. We are stronger together.
We invite you to connect with more spellers by joining us at an S&A meeting–fill out our form and we will reach out with an invite!
About the Authors:
James Scannell is a 22-year-old unreliably speaking autistic. He started learning to communicate on a letterboard in 2020. He has presented to social workers, OT students, and theologians in various communities and even internationally. He has been active in S&A since 2022. He loves writing, learning anything, being outside, and hanging with spellers.
Anna Ruhl is a certified S2C practitioner in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired to become a practitioner by her speller son, she is motivated to expand and support the spelling community in “the burgh”.