Sunday, April 17, 2011
The Speech I Made to the Parents Yesterday
I’m happy to speak to you today.
I am here to represent the point of view of people with autism who don’t speak. Some of you might be parents of non-verbal people like me and stopped believing it was possible that your child could ever learn communication or even to understand.
I don’t doubt that experts probably told you that it was false hope to imagine that your child could talk. Well, I don’t talk but I still go to regular middle school in regular classes and do regular homework and schoolwork, and I get good grades of A’s and B’s. I tell you this, not to brag, but to give you hope.
I don’t need to talk with my mouth. It’s too hard. But I’m able to communicate thanks to my letter board and dynawrite. It was a long journey to get to here from where I started. I had years of silence and rotten frustration. I was totally not able to show people I understood, so I suffered inside while my specialists chose wrong for me.
It was the worst, and I know it’s kind of equally challenging for parents too.
But here’s my hope. I went from so bored in school in remedial education when I couldn’t communicate to a diploma path in high school next year. How, is the story of the potential in your kids.
Teach them interesting things. Read them age appropriate books. Talk normally to them. Not, “go car”, “say hi”, “good job”. I believe many autistic people are understanding inside and can’t show it. To be talked to like a baby is so frustrating.
The letter board was my freedom. This is it.
It takes a while to learn how to use it, but it’s worth it.
Communication is the most important thing.
Autism is a deep pit. Don’t give up.