Something I notice often is peoples ability to view someone who does not speak as dumb. We assume that because they have limited communication skills that they must not be very smart. The amazing thing is though that many children and youth who do not speak are actually incredibly smart in their own way. I’ve seen children who will not look you in the eyes or act like they are listening to you and yet they have comprehended every word you just said! As a society we need to open our eyes to new methods of communication. Talking is not our only form. Many children with autism talk more with their body then with their words. You can often notice an increase in their stims (such as shaking their hands) when they are upset or uncomfortable. They may not be able to verbalize their feelings but they show us with their body.
For those of you who have not seen “I am Carly” on you tube this is a young woman who defies the worlds stereotypes and proves just how smart she is. She is non-verbal and her stims often make her appear wild and make people uncomfortable. One day she was put in front of a computer and began typing how she was feeling. She proved to the world that she may not be able to talk using her mouth but what’s in her mind is brilliance. She now has her own blog where she tells the world about herself and tries to connect with people in a new way.
Check it out here!