Less than twenty years ago, many experts thought autistic individuals who couldn’t speak were severely impaired. In fact, some couldn’t imagine that their minds were capable of lucid thought or that they understood language or grasped complicated concepts.
Yet, after seeing twenty-seven-year-old Amanda Baggs, we now know, unequivocally, that this isn’t true. This is worth watching, albeit long, as you will be amazed by Amanda’s video she created that she titled, “In My Language.” Amanda argues that her rocking, flapping of hands, and burying her face into objects, while humming, is just part of her “native language.” By using synthesized voice-generated software, she is able to type her thoughts to us. Watch the first three minutes to better understand her “world,” which she says is in constant communication with everything around her.
I think the highlight for me is her lucid and compelling explanation for her “language.” “Far from being purposeless, the way that I move is an ongoing response to what is around me … The way I naturally think and respond to things looks and feels so different from standard concepts or even visualization that some people do not consider it thought at all. But it is a way of thinking in its own right.”