What is Autism?

Well let me start with what autism isn’t.

  • It is NOT a social disorder
  • It is NOT a behavioural problem.
  • It is NOT an intellectual deficit.
  • It is NOT a language deficit.
  • It is NOT a lack of understanding social cues
  • It is NOT a lack of attention to you.
  • It is NOT a lack of really loving parents who have tried everything.

Yes, some of these can show up in some people diagnosed on the very broad spectrum. However, I am speaking of the type of autism I, and my non, minimally, and unreliably speaking friends are affected by.  You might call us “low functioning.”  (How wrong a label this is!)

We are:
– highly sensitive with an ability to read too much about those around us.  We must shut some of this down to function.  When we can’t our sympathetic nervous system totally takes over and we fight or flight.
– capable of understanding everything we hear and see.  You could say we have the memory of an elephant or a high powered computer.
– 100% able to formulate complex thoughts.  Some of these stump our parents.  And yes, math is easy for a lot of us.

Why can’t we talk?  

Autism is:
   – a motor cortex difference that has us be not in full control of our bodies, and
   – a sensory processing difference that has us be always on guard for too much of anything.
Because we are always overloaded our motor cortex is always dysfunctioning.  It is using all its power to manage that our bodies don’t lose it.  There is not enough energy left to power our articulators.  They account for 75% of our supplementary motor cortex.

Can you imaging not being able to get your body to follow a simple direction?  To even be able to point to indicate your intelligence?  Or to be able to laugh out loud appropriately? Every motor task takes intense concentration and effort combined with a peaceful environment to execute.  I am so tired just writing this.

So please do the following when you encounter someone with non, minimally, or unreliably speaking autism.

  • Do speak to them like they are listening and understand age appropriate material or higher.
  • Behave like a regular human.
  • Control your crazy yo-yo emotions.
  • Ignore everything that comes out of our mouths.
  • Be a good friend and patient communicator.
  • Help our bodies with firm, loving, and broken down directions.

All of these are crucial to being a fabulous friend, teacher, or therapist.

I hope this is like common sense to all, and have heard stories and personally experienced otherwise.  I believe these people were well intentioned, but misinformed.

Hope to make a difference with this blog post.  To learn more about this manifestation of autism join the Nonspeaking CommUnity Consortium Facebook Group and ask me question here.  I am an open book and would love to education more people.

Motorically yours,

Jordyn

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33 thoughts on “What is Autism?

  1. Julie Sando

    Oh JORDYn, what a powerful powerful, well-written, MUCH NEEDED blog! Thank you SO much for this!! I will be using this post often to share share share!! Love you buddy!!

    Like

  2. Wendy Edwards

    Jordyn may I share this too? I think it would be so helpful to parents of newly diagnosed children AND to doctors and teachers too. I love every blog entry you have done but this by far is my favourite to date. When I gety auti web page up and running I would love to put a link to your blog on it!!!

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  3. I’m helping run a speech therapy camp in Belize with several students with autism, will be sharing this blog with all of our therapists and interns! Thanks Jordyn for helping us in our understanding of autism!!

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  4. Aunty Sarah

    “* behave like a regular human “….LOVE IT.
    I think I quoted most of this posting last Saturday ♡♡♡
    Thank you, wise teacher . Xoxoxxoxoo

    Like

  5. Jordyn, I’ll be attending a case conference this week to help a district set up an IEP for a non-speaking student of mine. I plan to share this fantastic blog post to set the stage. Thank you for the effort it took to put this out there. Your insights are invaluable. Keep them coming!

    Like

  6. Susan Baker

    LOVE THIS! So grateful to have crossed your path (via Spiral Movement where my son, Andrew, goes, too)!!! It makes so much sense to me to learn more about my son (non-speaking, age 9) through people like YOU!!! So excellent. So wonderful! ~Susan Baker, Toronto

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  7. Maria Garito

    I am in awe of your way of explaining what seems so difficult for me and many parents to understand. Thank you for letting me see that this is also possible for my son someday!
    Maria ❤️

    Like

  8. Annette Grossi

    Wow! Jordyn I am sharing with the world!! This so eloquent and meaningful to me as a parent. Thank you for speaking for my son in a way I never could. I will share with his community, but also with others. Keep up the good work!

    Like

  9. Freda Richardson

    I love this so much!! My son has autism but is able to speak just not always understandable!! I have a few friends that have kiddos that don’t speak or that you just can’t understand at all!! This blog helps people get it!! Most people don’t get the fact that anyone with autism are normal inside and can understand much more than they can tell us they do!! Thanks so much Jordan and GOD bless you!! I will be sharing this a lot!!!!!!

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    1. Freda,

      I think learning to always be a person who sees the absolute beauty of each human is hard for some. Different = unfamiliar = threat.

      Thank you for seeing the beauty. I think your son is very blessed to have you.

      Totally always your friend,

      Jordyn

      Like

  10. Donna

    J
    A perfect post. Thank you for staying on computer to share. You’re a great advocate! I don’t believe there is a “norm” but rather different wiring in different people who all just learn differently. Be well

    Like

  11. Jordyn,
    You are just one of many voices in the choir of angels. You can always count on me to be your biggest advocate. You are an amazing gift! The message you have to share will make a huge difference in the world. It is only the beginning.

    Like

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