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Showing posts from March, 2013

Autism and service dogs: A community talk

This is a rough draft for a community talk I am doing:

Autism is
A disorder in communication, both verbal and nonverbal.  People with autism are often delayed in speaking. They have trouble with many parts of language.  Idioms are often hard for them.  They use and understand language very concretely.  Something is or isn’t.  Things are black or white.  You have one emotion or another.  So something like “laughter through tears” is confusing for them.  They have trouble with nonverbal language.  Recognizing emotions.  When they are standing too close.  When people are getting annoyed or bored.  
A disorder of movement.  People with autism often move their bodies in non-fluid ways.  I can sometimes tell a person with autism just by watching them walk.  In spite of the fact that my boys all have very good senses of rhythm, their walking and running are awkward.  When the body has trouble moving, such as writing, it is called apraxia.  The brain can tell the body to move, but …