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  • Writer's pictureDarcy Reed

Freedom of speech

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

Today I have a new friend who reminds me of my younger self. I feel so blessed because I don’t really have any friends that use facilitated communication (FC) except for one person who’s got a million friends already. I am so happy that these blogs are reaching folks. I need to talk to the others with autism who use FC. We are strong. We are beginning to emerge unified. We have much work to do.

Today is a new day. This is our time. Our silence is moving aside. With new technologies we can reach each other. It’s time to work on that safety net for our unfortunate species. I know the time is now because the signs are so obvious. I can feel the love of the other silent ones. We need to stand up like I keep saying, and grab those letter boards!

I’m well aware that the media has done a hatchet job on FC. There are prideful scoundrels invested in our helplessness, and in only their methods which don’t quite help. My new friend hasn’t been using FC for that long, but she does great. Her mom is wonderful and wonders if her girl will ever be fast at this like I am.

My mom wonders if I’ll ever be independent at this. But it’s so hard to slow down now that I do this so fast. I probably need more help for this, but until then I can type really fast. I just want to tell other moms and facilitators that comparisons are odious. When I first started typing, I didn’t actually (and still don’t) use punctuation, and at first, my spelling was strange sometimes. When my folks looked at the typing, it looked like gibberish until my mom looked again and saw that these were sentences.

There is no reason to despair. Start with a YES/NO board and at least give people that chance. Early typers will become adept in time, and I will learn independent typing one day, then everyone will believe me. These things take time – keep trying. We’re in here, thinking and planning and listening. We have much to do.

The words we speak will benefit all people. It must be done. In the world of neural diversity, the main struggle should be liberation of speech. The main thing we need is respect for all of us, not just the proud, outspoken "neurodiverse." This is the time of great outpouring. Be part of it. Be part of the great change. I’m certain this will benefit everyone who is trapped in silence.

If your autistic child doesn’t speak, you take him or her to a speech therapist, but it doesn’t help. If your other child gets an ear infection, you take him or her to the doctor. I say if you need help with the silent ones, make a letter board and start asking questions.

It is inevitable that many of you won’t try this with your silent ones because the experts said this FC isn’t real – it doesn’t test out in clinical trials with strangers. That’s a shame. The experts are clueless. I’d like to see more FC typers with their own Facebook accounts, and I’d like to friend them all. I can’t wait to talk with you!

Help liberate our voices and we will tell you exactly what to do. For it is from the depths of our silence that wisdom comes. It is our turn to talk. The end result will be a liberated piece of humanity.

illustration by Carolyn Reed

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1 Comment

Heidi Osroff Rome
Heidi Osroff Rome
Feb 20, 2019

Darcy, I love what you write. My son, Ethan, is 13 and is like you in that he can express his deepest thoughts with FC, but not with his mouth. He despises devices because they do not have the options he wants to say and he does not yet type independently . Now, he is away at a new school that does not offer FC, and I am sadly not with him (he hurts himself and others when he is home). He does not seem eager to type, even when we bring him the teacher who taught him. So, I think I want to know what he has inside him more than he has the wish to share it…

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