Monthly Archives: March 2011

A Walk in the Woods

I love nature.
In nature I am teamed up with God, in a way.

I mean, I look around. I see beauty all around me, and I feel part of it. The illness is put aside because I see perfection in the really lovely sights.

Nature isn’t neat or orderly. The grass is waving this way or that. The branches are crooked and gray and gnarled. The path is lopsided from rivers of rain and erosion. The plants grow in random places. I see no pattern, unlike a landscaped lawn.

I fit in so well. I am so at home in the messy beauty of nature. I relate to it. I see the system is messy, but it works and it is WOW. Not to be sort of simplifying it, but I see my illness this way. It’s not pretty. It is messy. It has erosion and rivers of mud too. Ha ha.
But it is part of nature in the same way.

I am not a mistake, nor a sorry state of messy neurons. I accept my messy neurological system because it has given me a way of seeing life. I fit in with the path in the woods.

My Rant for Today

Why each day I have to demonstrate I am intelligent is simple. It’s because since I can’t speak, if I didn’t show my intelligence, I’d be assumed to be dumb.
I harp on this same theme over and over.
In the last few days I have been reminded that people can’t see reality for some reason. Really, what else can I say? Is it a learning problem? 
Ha ha.
A dad watches me on my board, sees his autistic son cling to my mom and grab the letter board from her trying to point, and each time he sees nothing. He sees me, but then he sees nothing somehow. 
Why can’t he imagine his son has potential too? His son’s eyes were grief-filled.  He missed the communication in them somehow too.
I got my answer a few days later when a well-educated professional expert heard about this blog, smiled and informed my mom and me that most autistic people are mentally retarded. So certain of this is she, she probably believes my blog gives false hope to parents of “hopeless cases”- like the boy I just told you about.
His dad really couldn’t see because reality conflicted with expert nonsense.   
The expert assumed retardation when people are locked in- sort of roped and in quicksand, you might say. At least in quicksand you can speak. She mistakes being roped in quicksand for learning problems, and comprehension problems, and thinking problems. So, my sad story is that the autistic person is trapped, assumed incapable due to retardation, and stays overlooked.
Just a few incredible exceptions like me are smart, according to her.
Stop it, will you?
 I was “retarded” too until I finally found communication. Then everything changed.
That’s my rant for today. See you soon.

My Mission

Talking is nearly impossible for me. Thinking is not. Talking requires my brain, mouth, and tongue to work together. Thinking does not. Talking is a way to express ideas to others. Thinking is only for myself. 
I hope this clarifies the difference.
Stephen Hawking can’t talk but we all know he can think. Lou Gehrig had lost his speech, not his intact soul and mind. The stroke victim has lost his speech but why would he  lose his ability to think? A deaf person might not be able to speak, but can sign intelligent thoughts.
Imagine the deaf person with two broken arms. Does he then become unable to understand or think? I ask this ridiculous question because the reality for autistic people is that our arms and our mouths don’t communicate with our brains, so our output is severely messed up. Severely messed up is an understatement. Trapped under sticky goo at the bottom of a pit is more like it. So, autism is a real prison internally.
It’s not a receptive language disorder. Not for me, and not for lots of others. Can I speak for all? No. But, I do speak for many who sit in class, with intact minds, watching boring ABC movies and 1+1 math year after year after year. The time is now to advance our understanding of autism. This is my mission. Thanks for joining me on the way.

One Wish

I think if I had one wish it would be to help the trapped people in autism-jail open their prison cells to freedom.
What is freedom?
It is communication. It is education. It is exposure to normal education and books and conversation. If I halfway made an effort to be normal, I’d still be autistic. I have a neurological illness that isn’t cured by hope and good fortune. If you meet me halfway, I can access the world as a person with autism.
I listened to a woman who thought I belonged to the rare group of autistic who can think. I got to laugh inside, and laugh sorrowfully too. I may be communicating now, but not always. Until my mom and others opened me to the ability, I was trapped internally. If this early part of my life taught me anything, it is that I have to free those who remain trapped.
If she had met me when I was young and had no ability to get out my thoughts, I know that she would not have believed that intelligence lay behind my symptoms. If I had never been taught how to use a letter board I too would be the moron she imagines in others.
I’m sorry if I seem harsh but I am tired of well-meaning but blind people. Other autistic people die inside daily because they believe they will never get free or have communication. If the people that help them can’t see the potential inside them, no one works on their freedom from autism-jail.

Intelligence is there. It’s trapped. It’s stuck- buried beneath neurological messages that don’t send out.

Don’t assume the only smart non-verbal person with autism is me or others who type or point. We are living proof that   intelligence is there if our jail cells are given a route to communication and freedom.