I absolutely loved the article by DJ Savarese called “Cultural Commentary: Communicate With Me.” It really made me smile. I have to compare it to this guest class blogger that my professor introduced us to named Bard. He posted a blog titled “What it means to be an ‘NT Ally’”* and my whole class including me was taken aback by it. His blog was very blunt and it intimidated most of us because we felt like anything we would say in response to his blog post would offend him. We are going to be skyping with him next on the 13thand one of the concerns that one of my fellow class mates stated was that she was unsure of how to talk to him because she didn’t want to offend him. All of classmates have the same concern and really all we can do is remember that he knows that we are a class and the majority of us are fresh meat (new) to the world of autism. So we just have to say what we have to say knowing that we will make mistakes in the language that we use, because everyone is different and not all people like labels like HFA (high functioning autism) or LFA (low functioning autism).
Back to the point…
So DJ Savarese uses a softer approach to those who may not know how to interact with someone with autism that clearly has some trouble focusing, has some anxiety, etc. and in return he doesn’t come off as blunt and offensive. He gives easy and subtle advice because he knows that many people are confused and may or may not take the time out to become knowledgeable about autism and its culture. With Savarese, I can confidently go into the world of autism and learn about ally-hood and not be afraid to get things wrong. I don’t feel that way with Bard’s approach at all.
*Neurotypical (NT) = a person that identifies as being neurologically typical, or nondisabled.