Saturday, December 26, 2015

I am NOT My Child's Voice!

Many parents claim to be their disabled child's voice.  I am not that kind of parent.  I am not my child's voice.  I have never been my child's voice.  

Please read this:


Read it again.

You.  Are. Not. Your.  Disabled. Child's.  Voice.

You are not.

Are you a ventriloquist?  You are still not your child's voice.  

Are you a magical being who can force people to speak your will?  You are still not your child's voice.

Your child has a voice.   Stop ignoring it.  

Stop co-opting it.   

Stop making your child's disability all about YOU. 


When my child was a tiny baby and cried out when he needed something, he had his own voice. 

When my little one was nonspeaking (until he was about six), he had his own voice.   He pointed.  He signed.  He used picture cards.  He complained. He resisted.  He smiled.  He laughed.  He cuddled.  He pushed me away. He was non-compliant.  He communicated.  He had his own voice. 

When my child loses language, as he sometimes does because that is a not uncommon thing with Autistic people.....he has his own voice.  

He types.  He writes.  He points.  He signs.  He uses picture cards.  He complains.  He resists. He smiles. He laughs.  He cuddles.  He pushes me away.  He is non-compliant.  He communicates.  

This is his voice.  

Even when it is not a speaking voice, this is his voice.  

It is not my voice.   It is his own.  


My child and I have the same disabilities.  

I am still not my disabled child's voice.   I can sometimes understand him in ways that non-disabled parents do not understand their disabled children, but I am still not my child's voice.  

I will never be his voice. 

He has his own.

It is my job as a parent to help him advocate for himself, not to advocate in his place.

It is my job as a parent to make sure his voice is heard and respected.  Even when other people do not understand.  Even when people will try to tell him that I am his voice.  Because I am the grown up and the parent, that does not give me the right to speak over him or for him.  

I will never be his voice.  That is his and his alone.   I refuse to take that away from him.  


  1. This is everything. I'm an autistic mother to an autistic 18 year old and an autistic 8 year old. It's all about allowing children to advocate for themselves to the greatest extent they are able, and never stop trying to help them find ways to communicate for themselves. Behavior itself is communication. I think so much emphasis is placed on spoken word that oftentimes, people overlook alternative methods that could be just as successful in conveying will...provided parents are willing to listen.

  2. True. Everyone has their own voice; however sometimes a person's voice may need to be pointed out and or translated.