I’m often reminded that intelligence is not negated by neurodiverse communication or learning styles. In the past week I was shown proof with two different clients. It’s important to remember that people think, act, and speak in different ways. We have to change our thinking on autism spectrum disorder!
Several months ago when we started accepting our first clients, we met Kane. (photo’s approved for public use by Melanie Lynn – mother)
When we had our first several weeks of sessions we never knew if were going to have a clam day or a bit of a meltdown. It occurred to Kim and I that regardless of behavior, Kane had a lot to say to us. When we stopped listening with only our ears and started listening with all of our senses, it became exceedingly clear that Kane was very intelligent. He thinks hard and makes decisions that any 8-year old would make. In fact, he makes decisions that an older child w
ould make. He has the smarts!
The only appreciable difference is that Kane communicates different than what we are accustomed to hear. Because of that, it is very easy to dismiss someone with autism or any mental health or physical condition as unintelligent. This could not be further from the truth!
We need to start changing our language rapidly to break free from the mold created by our biases.
Let’s start today!