I have never met Sami Kadah, nor did I know about him and his poetry exploring his life with autism, until his communication partner, Jeff, wrote to me.
Sami was locked inside with no communication for 23 years and he has been typing for two. It seems he has a lot to say. He says it in poetry form. In his poems, he opens his soul to pour out how autism controls his life. He writes so that each word matters. He is stingy with his words. They each say a lot.
Sami hurts from autism and he is worth reading. Communication changes lives, for sure.
Number 15, by Sami Kadah
I am superstitious. I am also religious.
I am smart. I am also an idiot.
I want help. I am also helpless.
I want to be independent. I am also incredibly needy.
I am intentionally thoughtful. I am also unpredictably impulsive.
I am physically affectionate. I am also agressive and violent.
My book, to my amazement, has impacted lives in many far-flung places. I get letters from all over the world.
I was so happy to read this article from Ireland that more people should read. This isn’t an Irish tale. It’s an autism tale. Once again, a mind and a soul is set free by a letter board. I love how Caoimh (pronounced Keev) was liberated by his persistent mother. I toast all the persistent mothers who don’t give up, from Soma, to my mom, to Caoimh’s mum in Ireland, and all the others. He is one of a measly 40 in Ireland who type, but I know there will be more.
Here is proof that learning to communicate changes lives. I get thrilled every time I hear how my book has helped others move to communication. Life misunderstood, isolated and silent is not an adequate result for years of therapy and a parade of specialists who marched through this family’s house.
There are stubborn people who have to listen to us, but they won’t, I’m afraid. But there are open people who have listened.
Things are improving, little by little. Here is one family’s story.
I miss hiking tremendously. Where I live my winters are mild, my summers like a furnace. All winter and spring I hike or mountain bike every day. I love to be in nature and I love to move on trails looking at the hills and the old oaks. The tall grass turns from green to straw yellow. The coyotes look rangier and thirstier and the snakes start to interfere with the carefree movement of the hiker who now avoids that narrow path lined with foot-high grass. That stick on the trail or that pile of horse manure over there? Look again– it has a rattle on its tail.
I prefer not waking up at 6 AM to beat the heat and I’m no fan of rattlesnakes, so I must bide my time waiting for the weather to cool so I can hit the trails once again.
I am an autistic guy with a message. I spent the first half of my life completely trapped in silence. The second - on becoming a free soul. I had to fight to get an education but I succeeded, graduating high school with a diploma and a 3.9 GPA. I plan to go to college to continue my education. I communicate by typing on an iPad or a letter board. My book, "Ido in Autismland" is an autism diary, telling the story of my symptoms, education, and journey into communication. I hope to help other autistic people find a way out of their silence too.
My book is now available in paperback, Nook, Kindle, and iBook editions!