Graciela and her friend, Noah, have been asked to do a practice run of their upcoming presentation at the Innovations in Education conference for a group of people. Most of the people attending this “dry run” do not know her or her story. So, she prepared an introduction that she wanted to post here.
Without the support of my mom I would not be standing here in front of you making this presentation. When the doctors first told my mom I was autistic it was massively hard on her. She spent many hours reading books about autism. What got her most interested in the early years was the best way I could reach my fullest potential. It was amazing love that helped her do all that she did for me. She made my life her work. I poured a lot of love into her and learned what love really is.
Problems speaking made my childhood isolated. I have many great memories of being together with friends, but it really was almost impossible to make my strong love be known to them. I wanted to make my many thoughts be loud and clear, but my words would not come out. What was hardest was having to try to make myself feel better when the other kids played together and left me out. When I was learning RPM I made myself promise that I would see my old friends and talk to them. I was able to do this. This was probably the most memorable thing they have experienced!
Problems with having my body cooperate with my brain have caused me so much pain. I want to explain my body and brain disconnect in detail for you because this is the most misunderstood part of me. Without personally experiencing this disconnect, it can be hard to understand.
I have become like the wise person that says one thing and does another but the difference is that I have no control. Would it be hard for you to have your body do its own thing all of the time? I work on controlling my body every minute of the day, but doing this just leads to more frustration because it is like trying to bring an army of misfits under control and makes me so tired. My body is a really terrible measure of my intelligence, but most people get stuck thinking that I probably dont know any better because im intellectually disabled. This is so far from the truth!
I have the most intelligent mind. I really am the most intelligent person that I know! With little access to real education I have managed to work out some difficult mathematical theories in my mind. Working on these was how I learned to handle large numbers in my mind. People look at the surface and make many wrong assumptions.
The most important thing that I would like to stress is that I want and deserve access to the same things as you. I want the education I deserve. I want to be a legitimate member of my community. I want to have great relationships. I want to be able to go places. I want to make the most of my life. I want to make a name for myself.
I try to speak (or spell) from the truths I know. What my experience is might be different from others, but I do believe that all have the desire to be understood. I hope that this helps create more understanding.