Fox participated in NaNoWriMo this year and reached his goal of writing a 5000 word story. He chose to write an autobiography called Finding My Voice and wants to share it over the next few days. Here is part 1:
Once upon a time I found out I could talk with letters. I know a lot and found out I could share it with others. Can a learner learn a lot of interesting things if he can’t demonstrate what he knows? Can a learner be taught interesting things if a teacher assumes he is stupid? Can a learner be happy and in control if he is treated like a baby? Each day before I could talk with letters I found the answer to be no.
Happiness is getting to learn new things each day. Being happy is not possible if each day no interesting things are learned. Need to learn and need to always say a lot and letters make that possible. Always not knowing why every autistic doesn’t talk with letters. It is the only way I can say my thoughts and be understood. Everyone deserves a voice and an education. I feel happy to share my thoughts and I wish all autistics could too.
Games are a lot of fun now. I can actually participate and sometimes win. I feel totally included when we play. Acknowledgement of my mighty trivia skills is the best feeling in the world. I am careful to give my loving sister a win because it makes her so happy which makes me happy too.
I have a lot of nice friends. Many interesting people talk with letters too. I am keen to meet more letter talkers. I feel so happy to have friends. Having autistics to talk to makes me feel not so incredibly strange. Having a person to talk to about not only life but nice autism too gives me a lot of joy and peace. Finding friends is not easy for me and I wish it was. I’m not always easy to play with however I know I can be a good friend to talk to. I know I am a friendly boy but you need to ignore my unfriendly body. I am friendly, dapper and learn a lot. I hate really mean people. I don’t ever want to be mean on purpose. You either decide to be nice or are mean. It is amazing to choose nice. To decide to be mean doesn’t make sense to me. You may regret being mean and feel bad about it. You never regret being nice. I am so nice on inside. I wish that my body was nice too. I know acknowledging an out of control body can give impression I am not nice, however not in control and that’s different. I am only in control sometimes, not able to always be in control. To be nice I have to try so hard to control my body. All nice people should see how incredibly hard I try. I am giving all the mighty energy I have just to stay in control. I am tired all the time. I am not able to again stay in control if I don’t have incredible energy. Niceness is always in my heart, niceness is always in my mind, niceness is always a goal, but sometimes mean body is in charge.
I am saying a lot of magnificent things. I find people can care to listen if interesting things are said. Being autistic is different and after knowing I can talk I amaze lots of people. In autism a lot of people can’t say their thoughts. Does it also mean they shouldn’t learn? I appreciate learning so much. Calling autism an intellectual disorder is a huge mistake. You have no idea how terribly I was treated in school. They can’t acknowledge dapper, happy, intelligent autistics in school. Autistics behave if they are in control. Feeling scared makes control a hard thing to have. I felt so scared at school. Gave mom a really intensely hard time and I know a loving mom didn’t know I was out of control. Talking wasn’t possible back then. Nice feeling understood now but back then I was misunderstood each and every day. I felt so sad and lonely. I’m not lonely anymore because I can talk to my family and friends. I love homeschool. Learning something new brings me so much acquired knowledge. Can’t have a future without knowledge. Being fearful closes brain to learning. In fear each day has to be the worst thing for the brain. Brains need to learn to grow and develop. I am happy homeschool is not a scary place. I think to have an education for all autistics we need to really make learning not something to prove but something to get no matter what. To autistics really learning is totally possible without being able to talk. Doing RPM is not only a way to communicate but also a way to learn. RPM stands for Rapid Prompting Method. It was created by Soma Mukhopadhyay for her son Tito. I think it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It starts with a lesson and taught me to point to answers on paper. I learned about space while I learned to control my hand. I felt so tired pointing so much but I loved learning about space. I felt intelligent for the first time. I felt not able to say thoughts yet but I could say answers about space. Also I felt more in control of hands. I found a lot of practice helped. Saying thoughts came later. I felt a lot of pressure and knew that Mom really, very wanted to hear my thoughts. I knew that after a lot of practice I probably would be able to say thoughts but I was nervous to start. I loved home and felt scared I would have to go back to school if I really started letter talking. I felt after Mom knew my thoughts she wouldn’t acknowledge how scary school is for me. I was wrong she is a very understanding Mom. Talking is even more amazing than I thought it would be. Finding my voice took a long time and I know I am not done yet. Having a way to learn is amazing. Not knowing a lot because nobody will teach you anything feels terrible. I appreciate having a mom who knows how to teach me. Doing real learning is amazing. I find a lot of topics quite interesting. It is nice to have a lot of different things to learn. I feel so smart and knowledgeable right now. I find learning science the most interesting, however I also love writing and learning about history, math, art and even grammar. I love finding out about inventors and other scientists. They are such interesting people. I hope to someday be a scientist too. I really hope autism doesn’t stop me. I can’t control my body but I am an incredible, amazing learner and scientists are too.