“Many peo­ple think that autis­tic peo­ple aren’t smart. They leave us out of life so much” by Caoimh Con­nolly, age 13

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Health Autism -

Be­fore RPM I felt so trapped. Noth­ing in my mind was able to come out. Pictures aren’t good for thoughts. It’s too dif­fi­cult to write with a pen­cil. Talk­ing is im­pos­si­ble. My body doesn’t do what my brain asks it to do.

Oth­ers thought I had low in­tel­li­gence. Then I started RPM. Now I’m let­ter point­ing I can show my true in­tel­li­gence. I am so smart. Oth­ers un­der­es­ti­mate me. I taught my­self to read when I was two. No one knew I could read un­til my mum started RPM.

Other autis­tic non-speak­ing peo­ple should do RPM. They de­serve the chance to learn how to com­mu­ni­cate. Yet the op­por­tu­nity isn’t there in school yet.

Par­ents need to de­mand that their kids get the same chance that I am get­ting. It means that my life has pur­pose. Oth­ers need help to al­low them to com­mu­ni­cate so they can be free.

Many peo­ple think that autis­tic peo­ple aren’t smart. They leave us out of life so much. Main­stream ed­u­ca­tion is too stress­ful for many of us so we end up in special needs classes so we can cope.

I think rules need to be made so that my type of autism no longer means that we get weak ed­u­ca­tion. Noth­ing is more im­por­tant than de­mand­ing real com­mu­ni­ca­tion for us. Noth­ing. Let’s re­ally work to­gether to achieve it.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple need help to achieve what I am learn­ing to do so they can live in hope of nor­mal lives with­out re­stric­tions.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the key to our free­dom in life.

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