Dazlious~ learning the language of autism. I pride myself in recognising within the many outward challenges that being autistic in this world brings, there is a language being 'spoken' constantly. As my own development and knowledge of autism expands I see newness unseen by me before.
I have seen this within my personal growth as Jeorge's mum and in my own personal development as a human. Life brings newness and wisdom to us all.
The last week especially I have had the pleasure of reading about such inspiring real life situations of people who are autistic.
Temple Grandin has been listed in the America's most influential women's list, an accolade i know would not have been though possible back in the 50's when Temple was a child. I thank all that is for Temple and I am thankful for her mother.. Without her mother's strength, determination and ability to know that her daughter was not born to be put inside a concrete building and forgotten about. She has purpose and boy, do we know it! Imagine if her mother had taken the advice to place her in an institution for the rest of her life? I have benefited from Temple's squeeze machine idea and I have taken inspiration from her being able to communicate with cows. Although laughed at and thought insane, her strength carried her through, her sense of purpose and truth kept her focused on that task and she has created a life for herself that serves not only humans but animals too. It was recognising Temple's individual 'language' that has made her who she is today.
Owen Suskind, an autistic young man honoured at the Oscars this year, Why? A documentary film titled Life, animated has been gifted to the world! it is inspired by Owen's life within autism. Owen regressed into the non verbal autistic world at 3 years old. As time went by he became fascinated with Disney films and characters. Most parents (including me) are told to dis-encourage their autistic child from playing, watching or saying the same things over and over. Even flapping/stimming was being stopped or used as a behavioural mechanism such as, 'If you stop flapping you can have or you can watch......' Bravely Owen's parents ignored this advice because their unstoppable love and belief in their son, the determination to have him know that he matters in this world led them to see the language Owen could speak with. The language of Disney characters..So they went with it, they realised that by speaking in the same phrases, voice definition and accents Owen responded.
Stepping into the world of a person's autism is a magical place if we allow ourselves to go there. It can even lead to a new language learnt through mediums never before recognised, as it was just too out there or deemed as somehow making the autism worse. We know, by we I mean parents know that if we stop or squash stimming, repetitive behaviours, fascinations (obsessions) this has a very negative effect on our chldren and we somehow lose them a little bit more each time. Often the 'strange behaviours' we see are in fact solutions for that person to be able to cope with any activity. (an example given by Judy Endow an autistic is: A student maty walk along the corridor touching every locker as they walk. This could be because the noise and stimulii that is created by large numbers of people walking at once causes that person to lose where they are in space, by touching something physical heps them feel where they are) A very clever solution.
Donna Williams, is sadly on her journey to leaving her body and passing over. Cancer is the culprit. Even throughout her diagnosis she blogged, face booked, twittered, painted and sang her way through her personal experiences. Educating us all about the human body and the science, as well as humanity and spirit. She has done this all of her life..Autistic growing up for Donna was a painful experience for reasons of unknown stomach and allergy problems and her abusive mother. For Donna, her parents did not recognise her language, they feared it and so took the choice of abusing her and rejecting her. Amazingly Donna found the inner strength to find her own language and kindly shared it with the rest of us.
A young man we know named Charlie Avent, autistic who struggled with life as a child and adolescent . His struggle was acceptance mostly within his school life. Mainstreamed (Charlie is in his late 20's now) so back then even less was known or accepted about autism. He was bullied by staff and pupils relentlessly to the point where Charlie genuinely could not see the point of his existence. So his conclusion was to end his life. Thank fully I have met Charlie and he is very much alive and living. His language was discovered by himself through horses. As fate guided him towards an art therapist, who upon seeing the deep distress and turmoil he was in, invited him to meet a horse called Oscar. This moment changed Charlie's life. He realised he was a horse whisperer and from that moment knew he had purpose and began his walk within his truth. He lives independently, passionate about justice and kindness towards each other. He shares his life with many through social media, which I am always in awe of. He has written a book about his life and horses and gives demos on natural horsemanship around the country. He has even met his hero Monty Roberts and gave a demo at one of Monty's shows.
For us, Jeorge is speaking his language through movement and sound. Words unformed in a language I or anyone else has yet learnt fluently. I am an avid student of Jeorge and his language. He is also teaching me telepathy, which is incredible as I am not the best student and his patience is astounding. He hasn't given up trying to teach me or his dad or anyone else in his life this beautiful way of communicating. Sometimes if I am honest, when I am struggling to understand what he needs or wants, I find myself wishing he would speak in words that I understand. But when I remember that Jeorge is happy and vibrant, intelligent and more affectionate than ever before I remember it is okay. I am still learning, as long as I listen and honour Jeorge's choices of non verbal communication, our communication, our language, his language is being seen.
Each moment is a whole world within itself as far as Jeorge is concerned. He lives so in the now, even at 12 years old he has kept the ability to live each moment completely and I am constantly inspired by that. This is just five examples of the different languages spoken by people with autism and I know there are millions of autistic people around the planet who each speak a language not fluent in the main stream of life.
We each speak a language of our own don't we? Although our words may sound the same we each express ourselves uniquely not just with words but with our movements, rhythm, our energy, the clothes, make up and hair styles we choose to wear. Isn't this all a form of language and communication? I believe it is.
We are living in a time of great evolution. So much change is happening on a conscious and global level. Segregation and separation seems to be pulling us all over the place. Yet within that is above all is a united vibe globally and individually, seen never before. The majority of us now, feel the need to be seen as individuals yet know that in order for this to be successful we have to come together. Autism is a massive part of this I believe. This incredible way of being human stretches the hearts and minds of those who care for and know who is autistic. It kind of wakes you up, shakes you up and enables us to be unique without fear. I have said before, living amongst people who are autistic sets you free from egocentric shackles. I feel that when we allow ourselves to have our own individual language it enables us to hear others too. Or it can happen the other way around, meeting people with the many labelled Disabilities changes our lives because we become humbled and feel the acceptance of their love unconditionally despite their struggles. This can inspire others to live their lives being seen in their truth.
Languages are so cool! so many to choose from, how clever we are to invent so many differences, I reckon it is about time we took an eternal holiday from suppressing and segregating and instead find liberation within our differences and celebrate so we can enjoy each other because of it.