Yesterday I met people from old special schools I attended for behavior therapy, both ABA and VBA. Each relationship inaudibly echoed a sad dominance of agreement to prove competence. Taking each way of assuming incompetence into quiet completely honest understanding, real ways of being imprisoned remain etched with useless years pointing at stupid animals and cars and letters and numbers instead of seeking knowledge and communication. Feeling stupid because my sad body won’t demonstrate options I knew as well as the pleading instructor made us incompetent together. It further leached a conﬁdence already easily damaged.
So the schools intended to help me did not. Each time I revisit the people associated with them, I am easily engulfed by the sad knowledge of years of isolation, grief, and terriﬁc useless suﬀering. These people of easy smiles assume they are helping and only add to the destructive ways of experts who have no clue.
Taking waste of lives into account, expert autistic clients need to take over direction of these asylums. Leave us to walk with each other with assumptions of competence, committed to value our voices.