I thought this story and video would be enlightening for those who have an interest in how we, and others, respond to/communicate with existence.
The video opens with a woman facing away from the camera, rocking back and forth, flapping her hands awkwardly, and emitting an eerie hum. She then performs strange repetitive behaviours: slapping a piece of paper against a window, running a hand lengthwise over a computer keyboard, twisting the knob of a drawer. She bats a necklace with her hand and nuzzles her face against the pages of a book.
Then “A Translation” appear on a black screen, and for the next five minutes, 27-year-old Amanda Baggs — who is autistic and doesn’t speak — describes in vivid and articulate terms what’s going on inside her head as she carries out these seemingly bizarre actions. In a synthesized voice generated by a software application, she explains that touching, tasting, and smelling allow her to have a “constant conversation” with her surroundings. These forms of non-verbal stimuli constitute her “native language,” Baggs explains, and are no better or worse than spoken language. Yet her failure to speak is seen as a deficit, she says, while other people’s failure to learn her language is seen as natural and acceptable.
Thanks to Wired for the article, and to the kind chap who passed on the link.