I’m Autistic: I Have a Voice

by Kieran Rose

I'm Autistic and one of the most frustrating things that can happen for me is when someone decides they know better for me, than I do. When someone speaks over me. When someone ignores my opinion...

The same rule applies to Neurodiversity. If you need an opinion on Neurodiversity, why not ask the Neurodiverse person?

(Neurodiversity (ND) simply means: A fundamentally different way of thinking caused by neurology.)

If you want to know how my sensory issues with touch affect me, ask me, don't ask my Mum, or my Doctor, or my next door neighbor's cat and certainly, when I speak, listen, don't shut me down, don't silence me, listen.

If I say I am Autistic, call me Autistic. If I say a puzzle piece is not representative of me, don't argue. If I say an organization does not do its best for me, believe me.

As a community (and we are a community) Neurodiverse people want and need to be listened to.

If you take someone with Autism and someone with SPD, although there may be similarities between them, their brains are very different to each other. The same with Depressive and Bi-Polar brains and so on.

But, all these Neurodiverse brains are in a minority together, in that they are outnumbered by all the Neurotypicals in the world.

Don't make decisions for us, be guided by us.

Don't speak for us, silence the rest so we can speak for ourselves.

Don't talk over us, about us, for us, just listen to us.

Encourage and enable your child, or friend or family member to connect with others whom share their differences, let their voice rise up with them. Help them learn to be proud of who they are, embrace their differences and allow them to embrace them too. Your children need your help to enable them to decide for themselves what they want and how they want it.

We need to be heard.

The Neurodiverse Community is large and growing larger. It wants to be heard. Even those who cannot speak can still communicate.

Please, cup an ear and hear what we have to say.

The Star Institute for SPD quoted me this week, so I'm going to quote me back:

"The Rule of thumb with all neurodiverse communities: speak to us, speak through us, but don't speak for us. We need to be empowered and enabled."

If you are looking for Sensory Processing treatment for yourself or your child fill out a child or adult intake form now to be treated at STAR Institute Treatment Center or search our Treatment Directory to find services in your area.

Kieran PhotoKieran Rose - A lifelong campaigner for Autistic rights, Kieran Rose has turned his passion for writing to good use, focusing on Advocacy and Acceptance for Autistic and Neurodiverse people, with his blog www.theautisticadvocate.com

The freedom for Neurodiverse and Neurodivergent people to speak for themselves and be heard is paramount for Kieran, mostly due to the fact that he has spent his whole life immersed in Autistic life and culture with Autism and SPD diagnoses for himself, much of his family growing up and now two Autistic children of his own.

Kieran lives in Durham, England, with his wife, Michelle, where they run their Marketing Consultancy: www.custardandbear.com (With a little help from their three children, Quinn, Albie and Olivia). The whole family all live in a happy bubble of Sensory overwhelm and underwhelm.