A Letter to My Congressman
I wrote this letter a few weeks ago and mailed it to Congressman Todd Rokita. Mr. Rokita is Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. He proposed The CHOICE Act, which would help typers like me a great deal. http://rokita.house.gov/press-release/rokita-introduces-choice-act-addresses-aei-k-12-ed-reform . I hope I get to visit with my Congressman and show him how many dollars we could save by realizing the possibilities of supported typing.
Dear Mr. Rokita:
Writing this letter is something I have wanted to do since I was five years old. I am in your district as a student at Brownsburg High School. I am also severely autistic. I cannot speak because of the autism and was determined incompetent by school administrators due to this inability. That I was and remain competent you can experience from my letter. That I was denied an education in normal classes is what I witness to others about such that we now have 45 typers in Indiana.
I have not yet met a nonverbal autistic who is not a competent thinker. They may exist, but the autism did not make them incompetent. We in the depths of silence see so much that normals in the noisy world miss. Our nation is poorer for not hearing our point of view. We waste powerful intellectual abilities inspired to contribute because schools will not educate us to the level of our intelligence. What would we think of schools that considered the blind incompetent because they cannot read to pass tests? Are the deaf who cannot pass oral tests unintelligent? We autistics cannot control our bodies. For this reason and our inability to talk, we are determined incompetent and shut away in programs with certificates for the unable.
Through real isolation and suffering, I waited for a chance to share this with someone who could make a difference. Merely being known as competent by anyone took 16.5 years. Usually people are presumed competent. For some reason little understood but subject to pity as government dollars support lords of the disabled to keep us down, only very few of us ever have an opportunity to be discovered. This is atrocious at the most fundamental level of human engagement. Usually I would rail more about these circumstances, but I love your work and appreciate the value of your time.
Please help us. We need a chance to be known. The professional unions, associations, and experts who have never had autism thrive on holding us hostage to their point of view. That it is wrong and that so many of us are proving it does not seem to matter. Thank you for your kind attention to my plea. Some fellow typers in your district and I would appreciate an opportunity to meet with you at your earliest convenience.
Your humble constituent,
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