Saturday, October 29, 2011

Finding One's Voice

This is an early submission from Nicole Nicholson.  She has written a poem, "Threads", which can be found on her poetry blog Raven's Wing. Nicole has also written an insightful piece called "Finding One’s Voice: Art, Autism, and Communication" on her website Women with Asperger's

Below is a quote from "Finding One's Voice".

So much of the dialog about autism focuses about how we as autistics cannot and do not communicate. I’ve noticed that the emphasis seems to be on our capability (or lack of) to communicate with speech, and I sense an underlying assumption that limits human communication to the realm of speech. Besides the distinction of high-functioning versus low-functioning (which I think are somewhat limiting concepts), verbal versus non-verbal serves as yet another division line between autistics. I feel that the emphasis on verbal communication in autistic people promotes a severely limited idea of how autistic people can and do communicate which does not allow for alternate methods.

So, leaving aside speech, what do we have? When speech fails us, we find alternative methods, whether consciously or not. I believe strongly in the power of art to communicate what perhaps cannot be expressed adequate or at all by normal methods. The preponderance of autistic artists – poets, writers, musicians, visual artists, and others – evidences a capability to tap into other, non-traditional means to say what we wish and what we mean.

Be sure the read the rest!!

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