“Just Ask Me”: The Importance of Respectful Relationships Within Schools, a summary for non-academics
In this research, published in mid-2021, Autistic and non-autistic researchers set out to understand the school experiences of Autistic young people and adults (aged 16-67). Their aim was to understand the interactions Autistic people experienced within the educational environment, and what barriers and enablers were present for Autistic inclusion and participation.
“When I am able to mask, I may make it through an hour, but invariably, my mask soon slips, and like Cinderella at the ball, I am left escaping in tears for fear of the ‘real me’ being exposed.” Chantell is a late diagnosed Autistic writer and advocate with ADHD and severe social anxiety. She shares her lived experience online as Shy Little Pixie, so others do not feel so alone.
Reframing Autism’s director and Autistic advocate Tim Chan affirms that RA considers access to preferred means of communication a human right, and argues that all communication methods should be regarded as valid and valuable methods for a communicator to exercise their autonomy and citizenship. We advocate that further research into non-speech communication modes – done in partnership with Autistics – is crucial to provide genuine alternatives that will meet individual needs.