So like, all the DoorDash delivery drivers around here are Deaf and that makes me oddly happy? I dunno, man, it’s just nice. 

Thoughts on doing right by nonspeaking people

Anonymous said to realsocialskills:

I thought your post about kids with autism was great… but tbh I feel like a lot of autism resources ignore autistic people who are less self aware? For example, my sister, who has autism and is unaware of it + cannot speak… where are the resources that apply to her?

How can I help and support her? I feel like people with autism like her are frequently ignored in these kinds of posts.

realsocialskills said:

Several things:

Remember how much you don’t know:

  • You can’t really say definitively that your sister isn’t aware of autism
  • There is no reliable way to assess receptive language in someone without reliable expressive communication
  • Ie: You know that your sister can’t talk; you don’t know what she understands
  • Some tests can show that someone *does* understand language, but they can never show definitively that they *don’t*
  • Your sister may understand language; she may not. There’s no reliable way to be sure
  • It’s important to keep both possibilities in mind
  • Dave Hingsburger wrote a couple of good posts about interacting with nonspeaking people who may or may not understand language here and here

Keeping in mind the possibility that she understands language (or that she might be able to learn how to use language):

  • Talk to her like she understands
  • Tell her about things you think she might want to know (including autism)
  • Tell her that you can what she thinks, and that you know she might understand you
  • When you make choices related to her, explain them to her
  • Tell her what’s going on and what’s going to happen, whether or not she demonstrates understanding
  • Have books around about things she might want to know about
  • Turn the TV or radio to things you think she might be interested in
  • If she’s a child, put her in educational settings in which she’s hearing lessons on grade-level material, whether or not she’s able to demonstrate comprehension
  • Keep trying for communication support

Regarding communication support:

  • There are a *lot* of different things to try
  • A month-long trial is not long enough to determine whether a communication strategy will work for someone
  • Some people can use a system right away; some people need months of being shown how it works and experimentation before they can use it
  • You don’t have to use simpler systems before you can do more complex things
  • One of the things you should try is a high-tech AAC system based on core vocabulary.
  • Speak For Yourself has some advantages over most other systems (including that they have good resources for people supporting family members without much professional support)
  • This is a good post on the importance of trying things, with some suggestions of things to try. (It’s written by a parent of a young child, but it’s also relevant for people supporting older children or adults).
  • Human-supported systems like a PODD book work better for some people
  • Signed languages like ASL work well for some people
  • The Rapid Prompting Method works for some people nothing else works for. (It’s particularly effective for people with severe apraxia or severe attention problems.)
  • Facilitated Communication/Supported Typing also works well for some people who other methods don’t work for. (It has major drawbacks and risks, including the fact that a lot of people will assume that her communication isn’t real. But it does work well for some people.)
  • Multi-sensory systems like Makaton also work for some people (but systems that allow for more open forms of communication are better)
  • tl;dr There are a *lot* of approaches to supporting communication, and it’s important to keep trying to find one that will work for her

Keep in mind the possibility that she does not understand language, or that she needs help understanding it:

  • She might not understand words
  • She might need pictures or symbols to help her understand words
  • She might need simplified language (but don’t make *everything* simplified, because that might not be what she needs. It’s a guess)
  • Whether or not she understands language, she does think, and her thoughts matter
  • She likes and dislikes things, and that matters too
  • (Self-awareness and language aren’t the same thing)

Make room for stuff she cares about:

  • If you think she likes, cares about, or is interested in something, find ways of making that thing available to her
  • Even if it’s things like watching the same clips on YouTube over and over, or spinning things.
  • If those things are important to her, then they’re important
  • Create opportunities for her to try new things. (Not forced. But like, offer her different kinds of food and books and stuff to watch on TV and places to go.)
  • Let it be an end in itself
  • Don’t make everything she likes into therapy
  • And *especially* don’t make everything she likes into a reinforcer to get her to do what you want
  • She has the right to like things, be interested in things, and have time that is her own

Help her to find a peer group:

  • If she doesn’t know any other autistic people, that’s a problem
  • If she doesn’t know any other nonspeaking people, that’s a problem
  • If the only time she spends with other disabled people is in tightly regimented special education or therapeutic settings, that’s also a problem
  • It’s important for disabled people to have the opportunity to meet and interact with other disabled people
  • This is particularly important for disabled people whose communication is thoroughly atypical.
  • Eg: there may be other autistic people who readily understand her body language
  • Not all disabled people will be friends, and it’s important not to force it
  • It’s also important to create opportunities
  • (And to make sure she’s seen pictures and videos of other people who look like her.)

Find ways of listening to her:

  • Whether or not she uses language, she’s communicating some things in some ways
  • Find ways of listening to her
  • Pay attention to what she does, and how she’s reacting to things, and what you think she might mean
  • (Do keep in mind that you’re guessing — it’s easy to misunderstand nonverbal communication when someone has no words or unambiguous symbolic gestures to correct you with).
  • Tell her, through words and actions, that you care about understanding what she’s telling you
  • Eg: Say explicitly things like “I think you are trying to tell me something. I’m not sure what you mean, but I’m trying to understand.”
  • Then when you think you know what she means, don’t ignore it; act on it
  • Whether or not she understands your words, it’s likely that saying them will help her to understand that you care. (It will also remind you to care).
  • The more you work on listening to her, the more often you will understand her communication

Creative arts therapists might be helpful:

  • Some creative arts therapists (particularly music therapists) do good work with nonspeaking people
  • They can often find expressive and receptive communication that others don’t find
  • They can also help to figure out what someone likes
  • (Make sure the person you go to isn’t also a behaviorist. Behavior therapists are not good at this and they tend to cause other problems).

Share what you know about her communication:

  • If others think she doesn’t communicate, tell them what you know or suspect about her communication
  • Sometimes they will use what you tell them to communicate with her
  • Even if they don’t believe you, the fact that you think she communicates will often make them treat her better

Don’t make decisions for her that she can make for herself:

  • eg: If she understands what clothing is and can pick a shirt, don’t decide for her which shirt to wear
  • If there are different kinds of food, don’t pick for her; ask her what she wants
  • If she’s in a social setting with other people; don’t prompt her into interacting with particular people. Being nonspeaking doesn’t make you the boss of her social life.
  • Just generally, don’t script everything. Respect her space and see what she initiates and chooses.
  • And if she needs help choosing, don’t take over; offer support
  • Eg: If she’s overwhelmed by the number of shirts she has, try picking up two and asking which one.

tl;dr If someone doesn’t speak, it’s important not to assume they’re unable to understand language — and also important not to assume that they do. In either case, it’s important to listen to them, speak to them respectfully, work on finding ways to support their communication, make room for their interests, and respect their decisions.

This picture was a life defining moment, the feeling of where I’ve come from top get to this moment, to hit a 200kg dead in front of 50 odd people cheering me on, the handshakes, first pumps and hugs after hitting the lift made it one of the best moments of my life. Massive thanks goes to my coach surge-to-new-levels with out his guidance and training over the last 4 months this moment wouldn’t have existed. He gave me the motivation and guidance to compete which resulted in overcoming so much social anxiety which has me on cloud nine at the moment. To all my followers over the last year since I joined tumblr, the comments, the messages the support you’ve all given me through all the good, bad and really rough moments you all kept me motivated and grounded towards my training. I honestly never thought making a blog would help me as much as it has in such a short time, I wish I could just hug each and every one of you for helping this moment exist. For the first time in nearly 4 years I can honestly say out loud that I’m happy, and proud of myself with a genuine smile on my face.

kidding around, pt 6

lol this part is looong


kahn-on-tumblr this is 4 u bb

Pepper eventually says, “I really do have to go back to work.”

“Nooo,” Bruce whines softly.

Pepper strokes his face and says regretfully, “I know, honey, I wish I could stay. You remember what I told you about Rhodey and Tony though, right? They’ll take very good care of you.”

Bruce glances over his shoulder at them, both hands wrapped tight around the fingers of one of Pepper’s hands. “They took care of Steve,” he agrees reluctantly.

“I’ll tell you what,” Pepper says, kneeling down. “If you get scared, tell JARVIS to ask for me. Okay?”

“Okay,” Bruce says and hugs her quickly.

Keep reading
ISU Communication No. 1951: On Ice Medical Emergencies in Figure Skating Protocol

Emphasis mine.

  1. As stated in the ISU Memorandum / Medical and Anti-Doping for Figure Skating, four (4) Medical Personnel must be present during competition and be positioned in pairs at opposite corners of the ice surface and two (2) Medical Personnel must be present during practice and be positioned at one end of the ice surface.
  2. The Medical Personnel will have radio contact with the Referee via the Timekeeper.
  3. When an emergency occurs on the ice that the Medical Personnel believes requires immediate attention, the Medical Personnel will radio the Referee via the Timekeeper to inform him/her that they need to enter the ice surface.
  4. The Referee will clear the ice surface.
  5. Medical Personnel with the respective Team physician (if present) enter the ice surface and assess the Skater.
  6. Skater is removed from the ice surface by the Medical Personnel and taken to the medical room for further assessment.
  7. The assessment is conducted by the Skater’s Team Physician (if present). If there is no Team Physician present the assessment will be conducted by the CMO (Chief Medical Officer) or Assistant CMO for the event.
  8. If the respective Team Physician is present to assess the Skater, he/she will provide the Referee via the Timekeeper with his/her assessment if the Skater is fit to compete or not.
  9. If there is no Team Physician present, the CMO/Assistant, will provide the Referee via the Timekeeper with his/her assessment if the Skater is fit to compete or not.
  10. ISU rule 515 paragraphs 3-7 of the Special Regulations & Technical Rules Single and Pair Skating and Ice Dance is applied.
  11. The Referee makes the final decision if the skater is allowed back onto the ice surface to compete.
  12. The Physician who conducted the assessment completes the attached ISU Return to Competition Form which is provided to the Skater and the Referee.

So it’s pretty obvious that last season’s Cup of China disaster was the reason behind this ISU communication. While I definitely hope that nothing like that will ever happen again, I’m glad that the ISU has formalized a procedure in case it does, one which holds specific people responsible and requires written documentation, as well as taking the final decision to compete out of the skaters’ hands.

if day goes home this week there WILL be a “bb takeover” in her favor and grodner WILL pull a bbcan3 and give the first few evictees a chance to get back in and the people evicted following her WILL be trash like J*ff/j*mes and she wILL rise and make it back into that house and form the power alliance that was meant to happen between her, vanessa and audrey

kidding around, pt 5


for miss kahn-on-tumblr

Tony’s chest starts to hurt, as he imagines the terrible tightness Steve must feel in his chest, his own heart pounding hard against the casing of the arc reactor.

Steve takes a juddery, whaling breath that makes his tiny frame shudder and Tony calls it. That’s it, they’ll just go down to medical, he’s not going to wait when—

“Here.” Natasha grabs his hand, pulls it away from Steve, and slaps something into his palm.

It’s Steve’s inhaler.

“Oh my god,” Tony says and scrambles to get it pressed between Steve’s lips. “Okay, buddy, this is it, here we go, take a deep breath for me okay?”

Steve whimpers, but he breathes as deeply as he can and Tony depresses the plunger. “Okay, now I know you don’t want to, but hold your breath for a few seconds—that’s it, great job. You’re doing great.”

“One more,” he says when Steve breathes out shakily. He depresses it again and Steve takes another breath, deeper this time. He doesn’t have to be told to hold it this time. “There you go,” Tony says and sets the inhaler aside, rubbing circles on his back. “Good boy. You did such a good job.”

Steve’s lips start to regain color and that seems to be his breaking point—he starts sobbing. Tony gathers him up, cradling him against his chest and slumps back against the couch, holding him close. “Jesus, don’t scare me like that,” he breathes and kisses Steve’s forehead, feels his pulse fluttering like a bird under his fingers.

Rhodey and Pepper come rushing back in. “Tony, we can’t find it, I called medical let’s take him down now before—” Rhodey stops mid-sentence. “You found it.”

“Not me, her,” Tony says, pointing and Natasha. After a moment of just feeling Steve breathe and being overwhelmingly, sickeningly grateful for it, he reaches over and hooks his hand around the back of Natasha’s head and reels her in, pressing a rough kiss in her hair. “Good girl,” he tells her, voice thick. “You were paying attention earlier, huh? You’re so smart.”

Natasha blushes and pats Steve’s heaving shoulders gingerly.

“Is he gonna be okay?” Sam asks, voice high and worried.

“Yeah, yes, he’s gonna be fine,” Tony says and rubs Steve’s small back, shushing him.

“Oh my god,” Pepper says, sinking wobbly-kneed onto the couch, one hand pressed over her heart. “Oh my god, Tony.”

He laughs shakily. “Oh, yeah, we’re fantastic at this.”

“JARVIS, let medical know we’re all clear, will you?” Rhodey asks.

The small noises Steve is making are killing him. “You’re gonna be fine,” Tony assures Steve and holds him a little bit tighter, reassuring himself of it, too. That was awful. God. That was. God.

“Sam, sweetheart, come here,” Pepper says, and Tony looks up to see him crossing to her, eagerly climbing into her lap as he dissolves into tears, too. “Oh, honey,” Pepper says, aching, and starts stroking his back. “It’s okay. Everyone’s okay now. I’m sorry, you must have been very scared.”

Bruce, who appears to have never left the couch, is white-faced, but quiet, watching Tony cuddle the daylights out if Steve.

“I am not cut out for this, man,” Rhodey says and drops down on the floor next to Thor. Natasha sits down next to him and lays down across his stomach to give him a hug. Tony huffs a laugh at Rhodey’s expression, which says he’s dying of cute, and Steve stirs a little, red eyes peeking over his skinny shoulder.

“How are you doing, buddy?” Tony asks, running his fingers through his fine, blond hair. “Better?”

Steve sniffles and curls up even smaller. “Yeah,” he says, but his voice wavers.

“What’s wrong?”

Steve’s lower lip trembles, but he just looks away, curling up into a tighter ball.

Tony smooths down the soft hair at the back of his neck. “C'mon,” he murmurs. “What is it?”

Steve lifts his head so Tony leans in a little further. “Now nobody will play with m-m-me,” Steve whispers.

“No,” Tony says, drawn out, and cups Steve’s face in his hands, brushing the wet tracks on his cheeks away with his thumbs. “That’s not true. Everybody still wants to play with you.”

Rhodey pushes up on to his elbows. “Hey, what? Of course we’ll still play with you.”

“Bu-but I get s-s-sick,” Steve wails and his breathing starts to hitch.

“Whoa whoa whoa,” Tony says, “Steve, breathe.”

“But I want to pl-pl-pl-h-hey!” he sobs.

Tony is flabbergasted. “Steve, nobody is saying you can’t!”

Clint reappears suddenly, his pudgy cheeks set in a scowl. He climbs up into Tony’s lap, totally ignorant of Tony’s ow when he grabs a fistful of leg hair. “I’ll still play with you,” he says fiercely.

Steve manages to get himself under control enough to choke, “Y-you w-will?”

“Nobody wants to play with me either,” Clint tells him and slaps a hand over his right ear a few times. “My ear is broke so they won’t. We can play. If you want.”

Steve sniffles and rubs at watery blue eyes. His face is heartbreaking. “O-okay,” he agrees.

“I’ll still play with you, too,” Sam says from where he’s curled up in Pepper’s lap and then sticks his thumb back in his mouth.

Thor flops against the couch. “My brother likes sitting games. I will teach you.”

Some of the light comes back into Steve’s face and he nods so hard it looks like his head’s going to fly off.

“See,” Tony says. “Everybody still wants to play with you. You just have to take it easy sometimes and we’ll make sure we keep your medicine nearby from now on. Okay?”

Steve nods shyly, beaming at the other kids. Ok, he signs and Clint grins big enough to split his face.

“Okay,” Tony sighs. “Now we’re all gonna sit here and watch some of Meet the Robinsons because you just took ten years off my life. Honest to god, Steve, it doesn’t matter how old you are, you’re trying to give me a heart attack.”

And it’s totally worth it he decides when Steve twists around and hugs him tight. 


The third film in our Winter/Spring 2013 Compete! documentary series, Kings of Pastry, shows at MASS MoCA tomorrow night at 7:30. Come see the film that inspired the Scotland Herald to dub it the “Culinary Hurt Locker” and the Guardian UK to remark, "I never saw so many strong men sobbing at once.“

kidding around, pt 4

last time

happy (ongoing) birthday kahn-on-tumblr <3

They take the kids back up to the penthouse and both Bruce and Natasha claim one of Pepper’s hands on the trip. Steve wriggles until Tony lets him down and circles around them until he realizes he’s not going to get Pepper’s attention, at which point he gives up and goes to talk with Thor.

They’ve got a few hours before dinner, so Tony puts on a movie and Rhodey sits down cross-legged on the floor and tells them to teach him their favorite games.

Bruce curls up against Pepper’s hip when she sits on the couch, listening while she and Natasha talk and Pepper curls one arm around him and cuddles him close.

Clint disappears for awhile, and Tony just starting to get worried when he hears the metal plates in the bedroom closest to the living room slide down. Ah, he should have guessed.

He goes to play his part.

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