A story about my lab partner, and a recommendations request

(TW: mentions [but no in-depth discussion] of ableism, abuse, “quiet hands”, autism therapy, and panic attacks)

So today I was talking to my lab partner in chemistry and she mentioned she wasn’t taking chem classes next year, because she doesn’t need pre-med classes for what she wants to do. I asked what that was, and she said she wanted to be a therapist for autistic children.

I thought of all the horrible things I’ve read about that kind of ”therapy” and actually started having a quiet panic attack thinking about this person going off and participating in that system of silencing and abuse. I knew I couldn’t not bring it up -today was our last lab, so I wouldn’t have the chance again- so I told her some of thing things done in therapies are abusive, like the phrase “quiet hands.”

She said that she’d heard about that and was against it. She said the reason she wanted to get into it was because she’d seen a friend’s autistic sibling being abused and that she wanted to help autistic people get their voices heard and their needs met. I suggested some things to her, like the Loud Hands book, and she asked if I could send her some links, so I promised to put together a list.

All in all, she was incredibly receptive, and I was so relieved. I also told some other people in the class how awful Autism $peaks is, and they listened and agreed that was I told them about was bad. It turned out so much better than I was expecting!

If anyone has any links they would recommend I send to someone who really wants to do right by autistic kids, please give them to me to pass on to her!