Sunday 11 October 2020

Autistic People and Sound

 There is a new article about autistic detection of different sounds.  There is is a link to it, below.  30 autistic children had their brains scanned whilst listening to different sounds.  Non-autistic children did, too ('controls').

Sounds like barking and scratching cause a bigger response, for the autistic children.  Noises like laughing and crying showed a smaller response, but arguably not a lot different to the other children.

Because scientists are apparently trained only to see 'deficits' when they encounter us, they described this as a deficit.  Is it?

At the top of the page is a tiger, quietly approaching through water.  Supposing the only chance of saving a village child's life is to hear that tiger approaching?  Even during times when others in the village are being noisy?

Is it a deficit to hear the sound of animals, and the sound of scratching, better than others do?  What might be approaching?

I'd like scientists and researchers generally to think about why autistic people generally do not see ourselves as deficient and in need of fixing.

What are you missing?

That is from the Autistic Not Weird website at   Well, so much for the idea that autistic people need altering, or curing, eh?

This is 2020, not 1940.  We don't need to keep repeating old myths over and over.  Time to ask us, to listen, to start to understand that difference does not have to mean deficit.  In fact, respecting difference could be the thing that keeps you and your family alive. 

Look around you in the labs and academic settings.  How many of your colleagues are autistic, applying diligence, fairness, dedication, deep analysis to situations, afraid to say they're autistic because of this constant quest to portray us as deficits?

Greta Thunberg making a similar point about the potential value of different minds, in creating a future for us all.

Certainly, those with higher support needs do indeed need good support, and no-one is doubting that.  

Does that mean we're all 'deficient'?  I put it to you that none of us are.  We are all fully worthwhile, and every single autistic person has something of value to offer the world, whatever their situation.  Some may be keeping you alive right now. 

Look around you.

Change that narrative.

We need all kinds of minds, to thrive.