When my daughter was first diagnosed at the age of two and a half, presuming competence was not a concept I was ever told about or had heard of. And even if someone had suggested we do so, I’m not sure I would have fully understood what that meant exactly. So what does “presume competence” really mean? And how and why should we carry out a presumption of competence?
In an interview, Douglas Biklen explained: “Assume that a child has intellectual ability, provide opportunities to be exposed to learning, assume the child wants to learn and assert him or herself in the world.”
A key component to presuming competence is to become aware of the prejudice that currently exists regarding autism and how these ingrained beliefs harm not just our children, but ALL Autistic people. Like any prejudice, based on layers and layers of misinformation, misperceptions, and misunderstandings, we…
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