The Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Autism Acceptance Project was established by Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D. in the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania area to help autistic, Asperger's and other developmentally different persons based on autonomy, understanding, tolerance, inclusion, self-determination, and meaning as well as providing educational and other advocacy for persons with special needs. Please contact us at or visit

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Do not see my disability as the problem. Recognize that my disability is an attribute. Do not see my disability as a deficit. It is you who see me as deviant and helpless. Do not try to fix me because I am not broken. Support me. I can make my contribution to the community in my own way. Do not see me as your client. I am your fellow citizen. See me as your neighbor. Remember, none of us can be self-sufficient. Do not try to modify my behavior. Be still and listen. What you define as inappropriate may be my attempt to communicate with you in the only way I can. Do not try to change me. You have no right. Help me to learn what I want to know. Do not hide your uncertainty behind 'professional' distance. Be a person who listens and does not take my struggle away from me by trying to make it all better. Do not use theories and strategies on me. Be with me. And when we struggle with each other, Let that give rise to self-reflection. Do not try to control me. I have a right to my power as a person. What you call noncompliance or manipulation may actually be the only way I can exert some control over my life. Do not teach me to be obedient, submissive, and polite. I need to feel entitled to say 'no' if I am to protect myself. Do not be charitable towards me. Be my ally as I fight against those who exploit me for their own gratification. Do not try to be my friend. I deserve more than that. Get to know me. We may become friends. Do not help me, even if it does make you feel good. Ask me if I need your help. Let me show you how you can best assist me. Do not admire me. A desire to live a full life does not warrant adoration. Respect me, for respect presumes equity. Do not tell, teach, and lead. Listen, support, and follow. Do not work on me. Work with me.

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Dr. Dan L. Edmunds is a noted psychotherapist and child/adolescent developmental specialist in private practice in Northeastern Pennsylvania. His background and experience can be obtained at To arrange a consult, please contact