"Dear utk, autism is my prism, not my prison." - Such strong, meaningful words.
I was watching the assistant place her hand on the back of Barb and push on it when she needed to type the letter and guide her around the keyboard. It makes me tense watching her do that because I know that Bard had to be so frustrated trying to type. We watched a movie, "Autism Speaks" in Special Ed, that was very similar to Barb's situation. The woman in the documentary was in front of an audience as well wanting to tell her story. It took a very long time to type what she wanted to say; all the most important to maintain patience. Barb, like the woman in the documentary was passionate about history and allowed them to be external and discuss with others about their interests. It is so neat to be able to see it first hand. I know that how she thinks inside explains her intelligence. It is amazing to me that she has written an entire book of her brilliant view of life, and yet cannot yet relay it through verbal words. It is apparent that it is crucial to be patient with Barb and try to understand how outbursts. I wonder if Barb feels trapped on the outside....she know on the inside that she is intelligent and not trapped by her autism, but sometimes can't relay that information physically.
1. Be the best you can be
3. Remember we are all the same
4. Understand (let him or her live inside their autism)
5. Keep an open-mind,
6. Empower (should have choices and decision making power).
These describe how she truly feels and wants to be portrayed. We as teachers can use these ideas for all of our students to recognize and be patient with their differences.
There is NO standard brain. This hit me hard during the presentation. Just like any culture, person, race, etc. is different, so is the brain. No judgement or comparisons. There are structural and functional differences. They relate better to objects rather than people. We must be able to recognize their needs that the brain wants them to have. Stimulation, thrill-seeking, exploration...There are some of the most intelligent people and can be significant entrepreneurs. Everyone has their place, their strengths and weaknesses. Barb has found her purpose and peace which allows her to have a happy and full life. Autistic people have BENEFITS- they are not hopeless or helpless. We must help find who our students are, and be that purpose. We have to connect and be where they are. We will understand what makes them happy and possible expressive language.I would enjoy reading her book in order to understand her thoughts and see life through her perspective.
We are all diverse and important to this world.