Happy New Year

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.

What Are The Things That Are Working For Me

I want to talk to the teachers in the world. Many activities have the potential for being amazing. I want to share my amazing experience with math circle because it was a great example of how academics can be made more successful for people like me.

Given the chance to work in a group that has many things in common was awesome. Cannot make it clear enough how awesome this was for me. Prior to this I have never felt included by my neurotypical peers. Getting this feeling of acceptance is wonderful. I want to be in groups like this all of the time. Being included and really accepted is a great feeling for anyone, but especially for me because I am constantly excluded.


Having the Life and Love of Non-Speaking Autistics in Your Hands

All of these days since the bad days at my old school have been challenging.

It was awesome to be in the school. However, I did not have the support I need.

Autistics are massively tuned in to many sensations and can get a lot of information from their environment and from feeling how amazing or awful the energy is in the environment.

At my old school the environment during the school days was not great for my body because it seemed tense and felt controlling.

I wanted amazing and beautiful things to happen there, but it made me sad to be in a place that did not know how to support me. It is awful to feel alone in the world, especially without being able to speak up for oneself.

I want to encourage teachers who work doing hard work day in and day out with students, to be mindful of making it challenging academically while also doing as much as possible to support their students bodies.

I want to be at a school that can get my academic needs and have more compassion for my body. I have not formulated the secret to my success in school yet, but the only amazing person who has had to make the hard decisions around my education is my mom who is always fighting to find a way for me to make a difference.

Many autistics who are non speaking do not get the education they deserve because having no tool to be able to access to demonstrate their understanding leaves them with no way to show knowledge. I was always misunderstood.

Daring to believe in your autistic and non-speaking students is hard to do, but it is absolutely necessary.

Make my day and listen to me please!

Putting your fears to the side, each day is an opportunity. Believe in what I am asking of you and it will let you feel the kindness of one another. You are the only one with the power to change your thinking and make a stand for non-speaking autistics everywhere.

Taking the World by Storm


Weary and exhausted by my autism each day.

Autism is not going to step in my way.

Each second the autistic mind hungers for more.

I am never going to let them close the intelligence door.

Raging and trapped like a prisoner in her cell.

Then suddenly I was able to spell.

The loneliness diminished

Faded into the abyss of troubles past.

An amazing adventure racing toward me at last.

People talk about me behind my back.

Wondering the entire time if it’s intelligence I lack.

I want to scream, “You hard nosed imbeciles.”

Then I tell myself, “Justice takes a while.”

Can I make my way with the thinking that prevails today?

This is what I want to say:

Imbeciles are like lovers in the dark,

but I will not let them steal my passion and my spark.

I am the girl who will put others to their best and show them who is the queen.

My work will have an impact like no one has ever seen.

Work and play are both so tough for me,

but I will find my way to the light in the awesome knowledge sea.

Making the Most of Every Opportunity

The great educational experiment of my life is about to begin .
This is so exciting and nerve wracking too. I want to be included.  The school gets to have my uniqueness and I get to have a chance .

Working and making really good grades is one of my goals .
My other goal is to be friends with many other students.
I know this will not be easy but I am determined .

Education in a school setting has never been great for me .
I am grateful to Northwestern . They are doing more for me than they will ever know because they see past my body.

All of my dreams are coming true .

Interview Questions Answered

Note from mom: Graciela’s Australian friend and fellow RPMer, Bella, wrote to her and asked her to answer some interview questions for a school  project. Here are Graciela’s responses to Bella’s questions….

Bella: Remember when you were not communicating with RPM?How was it like for you?

Graciela: Making this answer upsets me because some of those days were kind of like being trapped in a prison with no way to get out. Life was hard. Really making myself understood was all consuming. Can you imagine understanding daunting reality of your situation but not being able to do anything about it? I am always making myself forget about those days having no plausible means of communication. Really want to forget that these days marked my childhood.

Bella: What kept you, my friends?

Graciela: My gentle faith and hope in God had freedom in it. Marvelous faith can move mountains.

Bella: What words are really the most descriptive of your personality?

Graciela: Life changer and life giver

Bella: My last question is, can you tell me of your rescue?

Graciela: Making my thinking known was hard because I could not get out what I knew. Learning RPM happened at a time when I was feeling totally desperate because I was at a new school that kind of thought making my body calm was more important than teaching me. I was losing all hope. Then life and love calmed my really livid mind and put my fears to rest. We went to see Soma. Can you kind of imagine how awesome and freeing that was for me? Understanding how to use RPM to communicate was finally the moment I had been wanting for so long. Having the opportunity to see Soma was life changing. Lastly my mom completely devoted herself to making sure I had access to RPM every day. This gives me a voice and hope every day.

To learn more about Bella and her journey, check out Bella’s Walk at https://www.facebook.com/Bellas.Walk/.

Also, Bella and Graciela’s mutual friend, Phillip, was also interviewed. You can read his responses at www.faithhopeloveautism@blogspot.com



Caring and Sharing

Note from mom: We have a tradition in our family when we share a meal of going around the table and discussing something we are thankful for, something we learned that day and an act of kindness that we did that day. This blog post came out of one of these discussions last week…

Really thankful for whoever helped me to make it through this year. Mom you have helped me dare to dream big . Dad you have made amazing progress on the boards.
Very thankful for dad daring to try the boards.
Most importantly I am the feeling of happiness because outside of my family I normally soften other people not because they stare at me and cringe but because I’m sharing my light each day with others. Now great things are possible.
Getting the great message of love out to the world makes me massively happy.

Me and my dad doing RPM
Me and my dad doing RPM

Many think that you are helping me type but the truth already is out that I am smart and have many talents. You dream big and we will really fly. Assume and believe that I am always listening and learning and can really think you voice your opinions too much . The freedom of not being able to speak allows for really daring dreams peoplee have never cared to get in their minds before. Saving the world is my dream.