Wow. I must say that I am really impressed by the training I went to today to become a buddy in my school’s autistic unit(They do not know I’m autistic myself). It sounds really bad, but it’s actually a really calm, quiet environment and everything is visually structured which is nice!
The resources used were created by actually autistic folks(I recognised a few!), there was absolutely no mention of functioning labels and instead it was explained like a colour wheel where people have different levels of different skills. The teacher stated that there should be no insistence of eye contact, that we are to speak to these young people just as you would speak to anyone else, and that they might take longer to reply or not reply at all but that’s okay! There was no ‘Autistic people don’t feel!’ Or ‘Use person with Autism’, and they actually mentioned that sensory processing is a real challenge, and not to overlook the effect it can have on people. Another good thing that was mentioned was that some autistic people look neurotypical, but that it takes great energy and effort to do so much to the detriment of that persons mental and physical wellbeing.
We then did activities on what it would be like to have sensory issues, which was quite funny because I could do all the tasks having lived with these issues for years while my NT friends struggled. Sadly, the audio task sent me into a meltdown but I managed to mask it until I could escape: however I did bring up my own difficulties and showed the teacher my stim toy collection which she was impressed by. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to use the sensory room when I’m having any difficulties.