Learning to communicate is really hard, even for typically developing kids. […]
Disabled kids need *more* exposure to adults who want to listen to them, and *more* support in understanding their feelings – but they often get less of both. […]
All too often, kids with disabilities learn young that no one wants to listen to them. They often try their best to communicate, only to have their attempts interpreted as random meaningless noise or deviant misbehavior.
Here’s the thing: I engage with [Tangles]. I don’t just talk around her or at her or even to her (although I do all those things at times)… I converse with her. [Rhythm and I] hold conversations in patterns of interactions in nonverbal ways […] We share attention and direct each other’s attention to things – feeling textures or watching patterns or listening to sounds together.
These things are interactions, and without them they have no reason to even TRY communicating with me.
Parents often speak of their autistic children as being “in their own world” – but all children are. The difference is that for NT kids there are standardized bridges into their worlds.