After listening to the following podcast (the first story), G wanted to reflect on it and wanted her reflection posted here.
I want to try to be more like the woman in the story who has found a way to strongly work towards her goals in spite of her differences. Many times I say that I want to do something and want to also amaze others but then I flounder because dreams are hard to achieve. Making my dreams come true all together depends on me and my ability. my autism will not hold me down and will not be an excuse. Autism is a difference; not some absurd derangement. The autistic brain amazes me and should not be dried up with lack of use.
(video of Graciela spelling out part of this blog…)
One day a happy and beautiful couple found out they were having a baby. Talking to the baby was part of their daily routine.
Life changed after the baby arrived. The baby life was hard on the couple. People made comments about the baby’s development and the couple grew concerned.
Wanting to make the baby as normal as possible the mom started talking to many therapists and doctors. They gave her a lot of advice for the baby.
The mom and dad made many sacrifices for the baby. They appeared to always have everything under control but at home they let the truth out. They were both afraid for the alternate path of the baby. But they kept putting one foot going forward.
Years passed and the baby became a beautiful girl. Then the couple decided to make a major life change and move to Georgia. People thought they were crazy. The girl thought so too.
From the girl’s perspective the couple had made a major mistake that would make her life even harder because she was brilliant but no one could see this because her body is so hard to control.
Then an amazing life changing event happened. The girl found a way to express herself and all of the brilliance was able to come out.
People now respect the girl for her intelligence.
Many people still need to understand that a lot of kids like the girl have so much intelligence that is trapped in an uncooperative and hard to control body. They must be given the gift of communication.
Sometimes having autism is beautiful and sometimes it is awful. Autistics are caring and hard working kinds of people and are trying to get the respect they deserve.
Sharing my story is not easy for me because I was silent for many years.
Silence was good in some weary ways. I was able to get good at listening and was able to get good at determining my response to conversations being held around me.
Staying silent would have been awful. can you imagine never being able to say really important things? Being unable to speak as an autistic is awful because many think you form no opinions or have any thoughts.
Staying silent would have been awful in another way. Calling non speaking autistics retarded is quite common but we are so intelligent and have no way to get it out.
Many times I have thought about my life as a beautiful sad non speaking girl and feel that something strong and amazing is going to happen in my life . Autistics have much to offer the world and want to get some acceptance and really want to be truly included or asked to be part of the world.
The really important thing people must understand, teachers especially, is that really the problem is our bodies and not our minds.