Friday, September 27, 2013

Dear New OT....

Dear New OT,
it is more appropriate for me to say my children are Autistic than it is for you to correct me with “children with Autism.....” and then go on to say “or aren’t you at all concerned about being politically correct?”
Also, just so you know, if you are trying to compliment me, saying “you have done such a good job that she comes across as completely neurotypical” is not the way to go about it. 
If you are trying to compliment her, saying "she is obviously high functioning" is not a great way to do it, and makes me worry you aren't looking at her as an individual but rather as a stereotype, which in turn makes me worry that you are going to overlook the struggles she has. 
And if you want to impress me, or gain my confidence, try something other than “I’m trained in DIR so I can help with her sensory issues”.
You see, I don’t mind at all that my kids are Autistic. Yes, they are Autistic. Autism is not a flaw they have added to them that needs to be corrected. It is a part of who they are just as much as having blue eyes is. 
For the record, I see "politically correct" as a construct the majority uses to determine how the minority should be perceived and treated. Accusing me of being unconcerned with being PC is a compliment. Your interpretation of my stance as being bad is an insult given the amount of time I have spent thinking over the issue of how the language used to describe my children affects them. 
I have never, and won’t ever, do anything to train their Autism out of them. 
I have never, and won’t ever, attempt to extinguish behaviours my children find useful or calming simply because others see as them strange (unless of course they are dangerous!). 
And I am perfectly happy for you to play with my child and help her develop some helpful sensory regulation strategies- I’m pretty sure that I was clear that is my expectation when we met- but if you ever try to therapy my child to be “better” “fixed” or “less Autistic” you will not ever see us walk through your door again. My daughters only “issues” are that many people in society are unwilling to be accepting and make the changes necessary to support people who are not the majority, and that most people who assume because she can talk to them confidently also assume when she struggles with sensory overload she is just misbehaving. 
So you can help her with some strategies based on the information I give you rather than your assumptions about her, or we are out of here. 

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