Occupational Therapist, Sibling, Speaker, yoga

Emotional Responses

Photo of the book Autistics on Autism by Kerry Magro

I have not sat down to write for a few months. The last post on Advocacy Without Getting Angry has summed it up well. For Autism Awareness/Acceptance/Access month, I just finished Kerry Margo’s book Autistics on Autism. Every teacher, professional, or person that is affiliated in the autism community really needs to read this. I would have finished it sooner had I not gotten angry after reading some of the stories. Why are people choosing to work with and in the autism community, assholes? I hope people in the medical community, direct service, and education repeat after me- you do not have a crystal ball, be a decent human, and treat others like a human. Thats it. Apparently this is a hard ask.

My brother was case in point. New York state neglected him to the point of organ failure. He would flinch and block his face if you walked up to him the wrong way indicated that he was hit at some point. They will continue to deny that there was no wrong doing however his organs, behavior, and weight told a different story. Navigating PTSD with nonverbal autism has been a challenge.

I was asked to write an article for the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Apparently, I am a unicorn in this space. There are not many of us working as yoga therapist with the developmentally disabled. I would argue that you can be a decent human and not cause harm to any other human without being a yogi. If you find that you are not being a decent human, find another job.

I was doing a presentation to a local leadership program as part of their health care day and I had an occupational therapy student with me. I was supposed to be talking about yoga therapy and the conversation drifted into disability rights. Sorry, not sorry. I applaud the gentlemen who asked the hard question. “How do we interact with those people or kids in the community?” We will work on his choice words later. My response is you just say hello and from a place of kindness. We got in the car later and my student asked who the audience was. I replied that these are our future leaders of this area. She had serious concerns and opened her eyes to the frustration I have every day.

When I give these responses and talks, I really try not to sound sarcastic. It truly is frustration. I then go to places like Rise and Nyes in the community and realize I am not alone in advocacy. Gives me a sense of hope for this community.

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