by John Greally
WITH AUTISTICS, NOT SPEAKING IS NOT SILENT
There are those still who say “It is language that makes humans human”.
Hmmm. Those who say that… are speaking inhumanly.
It is quite possible to seem silent and to be- unlike them -fully human, to love, to live well enough, engage with the world in one’s own different and perhaps beneficial way.
The lights are all on.
Language and thought are distinct from each other. For many of us, our thoughts are verbally encoded. Language represents thoughts, but is not thought itself.It is representational. A code. A placeholder for our thoughts in some cases. Secondary.
For some autistics, thoughts are never, or very nearly ever, verbally encoded. Words representing their thoughts just don’t necessarily occur. But there are many ways to think, as any synesthesiac, savant, artist, creator, inventor, visualizer, person in their own world, might relate — presuming they had the means to.
In this not-speaking “isolation”, it is vital to remember who is really limited, who is the isolator, if they cannot or will not grasp this essential truth of not-speaking autism.
Every single case of such a not-speaking, or communicating in another way, from Einstein to Sequenzia, shouts “the lights are all on, in fact surprisingly fully ON”.
Please find a way to read or view ‘The Reason I Jump’.
~ ʎllɐǝɹƃ uɥoɾ
Amy Sequenzia – not-speaking: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ariane-zurcher/autism_b_1871276.html
Paula Durbin-Westby – sometimes not-speaking http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ariane-zurcher/life-with-autism_b_2005489.html
Mike Weinstein – currently speaking: http://www.goldenhatfoundation.org/about-us/blog/125-golden-hat-foundation-blog-70211
First published in Autism Inclusivity.
Republished from this link with full permission of the author.
3 thoughts on “Not Speaking is NOT Silent”
This is such an excellent and insightful article, including the links. I especially identify with the ‘Sometimes Not Speaking’ linked article.
Agreed, John Greally is a powerful writer that I admire a lot