Why Autism and Computing

Quote from http://ballastexistenz.autistics.org/

And don’t get me started on the emotional importance some of them [‘carers’] have placed on hearing air pass through my vocal cords – an importance that is more deeply hurtful to me than they can probably imagine.  I’ve been able to communicate – actually communicate, and know what I’m saying, and attach words to what I’m thinking, and all kinds of other things that I haven’t always been able to do – with the use of a keyboard.  This has had a positive impact on my life that cannot be overstated.  But other people, family and not, have often had more of an overt emotional reaction to hearing me make noises with my mouth than to watching me type.  I’ve been praised for making nonsense sounds at times.

I’m not sure they understand what kind of message it sends me when I’m actually communicating with them and they focus on how wonderful it is to “hear my voice”, but if they’re reading this, now they know.  (If you are reading this and you’ve done that, I don’t want an apology, I don’t want to discuss it, because it’s more emotional for me than is probably easy for you to imagine.  I just want it to stop.)

Related articles:

Dinah Murray and Mike Lesser: Autism and Computing