In my class my students communicate in different ways. But one thing I don’t have my students do is rely on speech to communicate even if they can say anything reliably with speech*. The reasons are

  • Sometimes repairing can be difficult with speech
  • Speech can make more misunderstandings then otherwise
  • Other ways of communication can be better even if it doesn’t appear to be that way
  • If you only use speech you may not recognize minimally** and unreliablly*** speaking people

Even if it seems a waste it is best to provide people with another means of communication. For more on this see

*I would like to note that by speech I mean the motor movements used make words come out of the mouth.

**Minimally speaking is when someone may be able to speak some words and phrases but not speak well enough for robust and felxible communication.

***unreliably speaking is when someone can not speak purposefully.

Autism Learning

One thing I do every month or so is look up autism always at least once I think what are you teaching people? Did you get autistic people’s input before writing this? When I first wanted to write this blog post I asked autistic people about these things. Some answers I got are listed here:

  1. Use identity first language.
  2. Do not talk about autism like it is a problem.
  3. Use age appropriate language and tone of voice.
  4. Do not ask what’s being autistic like.
  5. Don’t say things like “it’s okay” or “you can handle it” about meltdown and sensory overload.
  6. Make sure to listen and respect the person’s needs. (this one gets forget way too much)
  7. Accept the person when their unmasking. (this one is rarely put into action when the person actually unmasks)
  8. Talk to not over the person.
  9. Remember every autistic person is different and will have different needs.
  10. Let the autistic person move and interact in ways that work for them.
  11. Act like the autistic person is listening even if it doesn’t appear to be that way.

Care. Recognize. Accept. Grow.


My name is Allie

I am a special ed teacher who has a few tricks to help your students. I work with non-speaking and sensory sensitive students. Some of my ideas come from my students as they know what’s best for kid’s like them. I will be posing every other Saturday. If you want to hear from more me you may email me at

Care. Recognize. Accept. Grow.