Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://yesthattoo.blogspot.com/post-specific-URL.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Self-regulation, AAC access, and arguments that should not need to be

One of the big things with augmentative and alternative communication devices is that you're not supposed to take the device away from the person who uses it. The idea that you don't do that came up in the AAC class I'm taking this semester. The reason that came up is a bit different from the visceral, that's how I talk wtf reaction I have as a part time AAC user, but it came up.

The video was, "AAC in the Classroom for Students with Significant Disabilities: A Progression Strategy From BIGmack to SoundingBoard and Beyond!" It can be found on AbleNet under Ablenet university webinars, registration required but free. This quote led me to respond.
The only time they get a voice is when you give it to them. You need to leave the device with them so they start learning self-control.”
I suppose a student could have a self-control issue? Here's the thing: you have no way of knowing if that's an issue, if taking away the device has been a thing, because a person's natural self-regulation doesn't apply so well in scarcity, even if they already have the ability to regulate themselves. It's not just about regulating myself -- it's also about not knowing if the thing will remain available. If I think someone else might finish the chocolate cake before I get any, I'm going to go for it when I'm not quite as hungry (and haven't had quite as much of the healthier options) than when I know it'll still be there if I wait. The same principle applies with talking: say everything you can, while you know you can.

Scarcity over time absolutely can mess up any self-regulation that's been learned, too. Even if teaching self-control is a concern here, it's not always so much, "leave the device with them so they learn self-control." Sometimes it's, "leave the device with them so you don't destroy whatever self-control they have."

That's all besides my main issue: I've never heard anyone use the need for a speaking person to learn self-control as the reason they don't tape this person's mouth shut. Most people seem to get that taping someone's mouth shut is not OK. (Most, not all. In the context of really nasty abuse, it happens, and be warned if you decide to look at the details.) Most people don't need a self-control argument in order to understand that taping someone's mouth shut is unacceptable.

An argument about the need to teach self-control shouldn't be needed here, either. If we have to consider teaching self-regulation (a useful skill, to be sure!) as an argument for why we shouldn't be taking away a person's communication access, things have already gone badly wrong.

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