Anne Donnellan, after doing decades of intensive research with people labelled autistic, puts forward the claim that autism is a movement difference rather than a cognitive deficency. This perception has huge implications and exciting alternatives for behavioral support.
Anne Donnellan points out that many autistic individuals have atypical non-verbal communication which can lead non-autistic people to make inaccurate and harmful assumptions about that person's cognitive ability and competence. Anne suggests that if we can change our way of communicating and avoid these erroneous presumptions, we can open up new avenues of authentic and respectful interaction with autistic individuals who struggle with language.
In this video, Anne discusses the importance and power of presuming competence and focusing on strengths and abilities. Using examples from her own experience as a behavioural consultant, she offers two compelling stories illustrating how focusing on a person’s positive attributes can dramatically improve their quality of life.