“Use your words!”
I wonder how many times in the last fifteen years I have given this direction to my son. Autism affects language in very significant ways. When you are mother to a child on the autism spectrum, the phrase, “Use your words” becomes part of your daily vocabulary; a way to gently but firmly encourage him to add verbal communication to the grunts and gestures to which you have become so familiar. Why? Because words are important. Words are powerful. Words connect us to each other in ways that are innumerable.
The limits of my language stand for the limits of my world.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
These days when I ask my son, “How was school?” he answers just like any other sixteen year-old: “It was good.” Then he runs off to play video games or watch TV. Of course, if I had asked him how he was feeling, he would give me the same answer, “It was good.” To which I would reply… you guessed it… “Use your words!”
“I am good!”
(Yes, you are.)
It’s not surprising, then, when I sat down to write the first of what I hope will be many posts in this community blog, that I would choose “Use your words” as my call to action. The Special Mouse podcast was created to help Disney fans with extra challenges, both visible and invisible, to enjoy their vacations to the fullest. We do that by sharing information, tips and stories with each other. Every one who listens to the podcast is invited to come on the show and share their ideas and experiences with the rest of the community.
Nevertheless, not everyone feels comfortable with the idea of having their conversations with me recorded and re-broadcast, and that’s okay. It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
That’s why we here at Special Mouse will now have another way to connect and share with each other — this blog. All are invited to put in their two cents and guest submissions are welcome. There are only two rules: first, that you use only FRIENDLY words. No bashing or bullying allowed. The second rule is that you send me your submission in a Word document for “editorial review.” Sorry, I’m a teeny bit of a control freak when it comes to my website!
My spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.
~ Winnie the Pooh
I’m so very excited to begin sharing this blog with you; thank you! Let’s share what we know and love. It will be one more way to spread our message — The magic is for everyone!