Autism : By John Smyth
I would like to share with you a world that is not at all familiar to you. My name is John Smyth and I am a young man with autism. I was not born this way, but for some reason the connections in my brain started acting different than other people. I dont remember quite what happened or why it happened, I just know that I started doing unusal things. I just didnt understand, and still dont. What I want most in life is for people to learn about this life, and accept me for just who I am despite the autism.
You are born with a brain that works with your body together. My brain and my body dont do that at all. I can think something, but my body does something completely different, and most of the time its annoying to those around me. Please know that I dont mean to annoy anyone, but it just happens. Its like when Im nervous or excited about something, no matter how hard I try to be quiet, my voice gets very loud, and sings random songs. I try to stop it in my head, but the more I try to stop it, the louder it gets. I want others to know that Im sorry I do that, it makes me look stupid, but looks are deceiving. I have a brilliant mind my body just doesn’t come along for the ride.
I would like to be able to participate in the real world, but often my lack of self-control,as others call it, prevents me from doing so. Its so sad to me that we live in a world where if you dont act a certain way, you are separated and put in a class with students of lesser ability. I repeat, I am brilliant, not stupid. Why I wonder, cant people just accept that I cant help the things my body does. Would we assume a blind person is stupid just because they cant see? I dont think so. Do we expect them to see the world as we see it? The answer is clearly no. I wish others could just accept it that people with autism just cant change that quickly. We have spent alot our time in our own world because we didnt fit into the normal world. I am trying to break out, and am making great progress each day, but I need to see how normal kids act, so I can try to be more normal.
I recently found that by using Facilitated Communication, I can connect with the real world. It is not easy for me, but I get better each day. I hope that at school I can learn to talk to my peers, do regular high school work, and earn a high school diploma. I will have to have a facilitator with me, and will need to use a device of some kind to type on. I will do all that I can to not distract others, but please let them know Im trying, and may not be very good at it at first. I am practicing breathing and relaxation to help my brain relax better. Its helping but is a gradual process. I plan to do all my work using facilitated communication. Please just give me a chance to prove to you how smart and willing I am to do a great job. I so badly want to fit in.
Autism is a tremendous challenge to live with and challenges those around the person. When the two sides gain understanding of each other, only then can progress be made. There must be acceptance from the heart not the eyes. Please hear my voice and give me a chance at success.
copyright 2011 John Smyth
March 3, 2011