Another point she made was that her therapists seemed to be preoccupied with her “stims,” mainly her verbal tics and hand flapping. She expressed a sadness that suppressing these stims were the focus of her treatment for so long as “they didn’t hurt anyone they made my body feel good… they just made the therapists feel uncomfortable.” This broke my heart as a parent and clinician. To me, stims are communicative. They are ways for me to tell that I am exciting or disregulating one of my kiddos. I would never want my kids to “look normal.” I simply want them to be THEMSELVES, whatever that means for them.
My goal for my kiddos is always for them to feel accepted, loved, supported, celebrated, and free to communicate their thoughts and needs in the manner that works best for them. That is what fuels me as a speech-language pathologist. Helping my kiddos find their respective (figurative) voices.
I am a speech-language pathologist. I am a Certified Autism Specialist. I am a clinic owner and director. I embrace neurodiversity. We all are different. Who am I to say that I, neurologically or otherwise, am any better than anyone else? It’s a ridiculous thought, in my opinion. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. We are all human and we deserve the same level of respect.