This moving radio story is one too familiar to me. Hari Srinivasan is a kind of fellow traveller in two worlds. I congratulate him for his huge accomplishments. I have known the reporter Lee Romney my entire life and I guess you can tell she gets it. She actually edited both my books so by now she understands the challenges of nonspeaking autistic people remarkably well and it shows. The difference between Hari’s current life and his former training in ABA is stark. It is incredible how offensive I found it listening to the jolly infantile voices its practitioners used in the brief segment that described ABA in the program. Ugh. But it is important to show that popular treatment that so misses the mark in order to compare it to the great success of Hari once he found another way.
Please be sure to listen and not just read!
Welcome to WSJ readers! I am honored you took the time to check out my blog.
Here is a link to my opinion piece in Monday’s Wall Street Journal. (Apologies- it is behind a paywall).
Not talking is not the same as not thinking.
The converse is also true.
The American Speech Language Hearing Association, or ASHA, insists that the true voice of nonspeaking autistic people is best left to pictogram systems and garbled speech.
Here is their brief video statement.
Here are films of people with autism who have broken free by learning the methods ASHA disdains. Please note, there are motor challenges in autism, as evident in the films.
Here is a link to an organization of professionals, autistic people, families and others who dispute this harsh judgment and believe the communication of these individuals is their “true voice.” Take a look at the different films and decide for yourselves which seems more logical- a mistaken autistic person not understanding his own disability, or a potentially mistaken professional.
To gain an insider’s POV into autism, please consider reading my books, In Two Worlds and Ido in Autismland.
Thank you for visiting my blog.
Posted in advocacy, American Speech Language Hearing Association, ASHA, autism education, autism theories, autism treatments, barriers, Communication, speech therapy, typers, Wall Street Journal