Well, we ditched her. The SLP that is. Two weeks ago I just couldn't take it anymore. I interrupted their session, sent Oliver out of the room and had a heart-to-heart with her. I didn't really have the intention of stopping her services when we began the conversation, but when she started telling me that all the ridiculous picture-based activities (Hand me the angry face -- said in that fake, soothing professional voice) were because she was trying to measure his receptive language ability and "everything you read about autistics is that they are visual learners." I had a hard time keeping my temper. Then she held up a book and said that what she really wanted was to have a dialog with him about the pictures in a book but that he simply wouldn't attend to her enough to be able to do so, well, I knew what had to happen.
I mean, why do people think that all those with autism are visual learners? Because Temple Grandin is? What about OLIVER ever made her think he was a visual learner? Why is OK to generalize about a whole population of people? And what? he won't pay attention to her stupid book so he suddenly has an inability to attend? What about her own ability to make it interesting or meaningful to him? Why isn't that ever questioned?! Maybe if I typed this in all caps you would get a better sense of my outrage. And my outrage isn't directed at her (well, she is a convenient target but actually, she is a nice person -- just incompetent). My outrage is directed at the whole friggin professional world that allows so-called experts to make these kind of generalities and to have these kinds of low-expectations and just get away with it and then look at me like I'm some kind of nutcase for pointing out that, gee, the emperor isn't wearing any clothes. I'm so sick of it I could just spit. In fact, I think I will. Wait a minute.
Ok. I'm back now. I feel better. But only slightly.
After she left that day I turned to my lovely boy and said: Oliver, can you get me the eggs? I think we should make some cookies. Without missing a beat, Oliver went to the fridge, got out the eggs and put them on the counter. Then he moved the stool over, climbed up and started reaching for the sugar.
I mean, how's THAT for receptive language ability?
But of course, just interacting with my boy, you know, the one who just happens to have autism but who also makes a mean chocolate chip cookie -- well, that would call for a bit of creativity, wouldn't it?
No matter. More cookies for us!