Thursday, March 08, 2007

who knew

I just heard this interesting story about autism on OPB. A woman with a severely autistic son learned a new way to possibly help her son communicate. After weeks of being taught to use a communication board to point to letters, he was suddenly, and for the first time in all his nine-year-old life, able to communicate to the world some of the stuff going on in his head.

I won't explain the whole thing right now, but it was a really interesting story. Now the boy is fifteen and an interviewer went to speak with him and his mom. The interviewer asked him if there was anything he wanted to tell people about autism. He slowly and laboriously (with lots of encouragement from his mom who had to keep reminding him "it's ok, keep going") spelled out: "Please realize we are intelligent. We can understand everything."

Wow. The mom said one of the biggest shocks once he learned to communicate was realizing how intelligent he was. She said she felt really bad because she'd been treating him like a three-year-old that whole time. It's really an interesting story. And if you know any autistic people, don't patronize them. They know what you're talking about.


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