Dillan Barmache – About Me

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I am a person who is in total control – in only my dreams.  In reality, I am an autistic 16-year-old who always seems to be not connected.  To everyone else, I have only a limited experience of life because I have only been able to communicate in typing for a few years.  Now I’m here to let the world know that I have been waiting for years to not be overwhelmed by autism so I could get my real thoughts out.

For most of my life I existed as a non-verbal student in an autistic class. The interventions were the standard ones that left me trapped.  In 7th grade, I had the life-changing experience of meeting someone who believed that I am a real person with a mind intact and worth getting to know.  Through that supportive relationship, I learned to calm my internal sensory challenges so that I could type out, letter by letter, my thoughts.  Fast forward three years, and now I am in all general education classes in 10th grade.  In high school, I have been able to get the education and experience I have always wanted.

To everyone with or without autism, I hope you can find some hope and meaning from the experiences I have had, and how they have given me my desire to change how we are treated.

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25 thoughts on “Dillan Barmache – About Me

  1. Dillan, once again you have made your Great Aunt Carol tear-up with happiness and pride.
    Dillan you are a gift! Your blog is so great for everyone who blogs with you because we will know you better and you will know us better. Because of you I am blogging. Is “blogging” a verb? This will be only the first of many blogs.

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  2. I am inspired by you Dillian, I would love to meet you. Your smile is beautiful as your heart, Becsuse of you I want to know more about autism. I am thankful I got to see just a small part of who you are.. Your in my thoughts and prayer..Katie

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Dillan
    I came across your video on Facebook and I just wanted to say that your story is amazing and it’s individuals like you that give us hope for my nephew. He’s 10 years old and has Autism and he like you is unable to communicate verbally. He says a few words here and there but that’s about it. I just want to say Thank you for sharing your story because it is truly inspiring.

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    • Hi Shianne,
      Thank you for writing to Dillan. We are so glad that you feel his story is helpful to you and your family. That is why he has asked for this blog. Wishing you all the best. We hope you keep visiting!
      Tami

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      • Hi Dillan I am collecting global stories from people who have not let great challenges stop them from inspiring others. I would love to share your story of how you inspire one letter at a time, how you have given a voice to so many!! It only needs to be a few sentences sharing how despite your body’s challenges you can still reach out and make this world so much better 🙂 Veronica Farmer, Author Brisbane Australia http://www.madebeautifulbyscars.com

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  4. I just saw an article about you on Buzzfeed and I can’t stop smiling. My brother is autistic and while he is verbal, he loves his iPad and is on it all the time. I think having another way to connect with people (via the internet, or in your case, being able to speak through technology) is a life saver for so many of us. Not even just those with Autism. Dillan, I think you’re awesome and are going to blow us all away with your accomplishments. I’d love to meet you some day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Dillan,
    I am from Germany and also be in the 10th grade. I am such amazed of the way you’re living with autism and truly proud of you and your family who supports you! I could not be more excited and proud of people like you who really wants others to deal in a responsible and more important respectful way with each other.
    You are the reason that I am so happy with everything God has given me.
    Basicly you really have a place in my life & heart;
    I know that I can not really help you as much as I want.
    You are very welcome to visit me anytime.
    Best wishes,
    Jonas.
    😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jonas,

      This is Tami, Dillan’s mom. Dillan was so excited to get your comment, he is just busy with school and having a hard time typing back right now. Thank you for writing, and we hope you continue to visit often! All the best,
      Tami

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  6. Dillan,

    My little brother is almost 9 and he is also nonverbal with autism. I have always felt (along with the rest of my family) that he understands more than the doctors believe he does. I am going to share your blog with my mom in case there’s someone from one of his many therapists or doctors who can try to teach him how to type. Thanks for sharing your life with everyone! I pray this continues to open up the world for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Krista,
      This is Tami, Dillan’s mom. Dillan always says that belief is everything! So please keep believing, because we have so much to learn about autism, and now that more and more individuals are typing to communicate, we can hear directly from them about their experiences and what they need. Thank you for writing…we hope you continue to visit! If you don’t mind, I’d like to recommend a couple of books that your family and open minded therapists may be interested in:) Our good friend, Ido (who types to communicate), has written a book called “Ido in Autismland” that I think you will find very helpful. Also, for looking at autism through a different lens and beginning to understand a different way to teach and begin communication, I would recommend reading “Understanding Autism through Rapid Prompting Method” by Soma Mukhopadhyay, or you can go to their website at http://www.halo-soma.org. Wishing you all the best!
      Tami

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  7. I am just in awe at this website and you Dylan! Like this has potentially changed my whole view of autism even though one of my best friends from elementary school is autistc.

    Amazing. Bravo. And thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dillan- our son Joshua is 11 and has just begun using an iPad to communicate. (He’s using Proloquo.) Your story gives us hope that some day we will get to know him too! Keep on, Dillan! Change the world!

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  9. Dillan, you are changing the world. Thank you for being so brave as to share your experience, thoughts and feelings. A true artist!!! You are an absolute inspiration and I have no doubts that others will find their voices for the first time too because of this exposure. Have an amazing day!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Dillan,

    I have a 14 year old son that reminds me of you… Handsome, kind and stuck in his body not being able to speak. He types a few words but I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing with us which app you are using?
    Congratulations to you and your family! Your story gives us hope ❤️

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    • Hi Anouk,
      The main voice output apps that he uses are Proloquo4text and Assistive Express. He also uses an app called Keeble that allows us to customize the keyboard. This technology is incredible, however, the skill of typing out thoughts and ideas has to be developed in order to successfully use any tool such as a letter board or keyboard. A good place to start is by reading Understanding Autism through Rapid Prompting Method by Soma Mukhopadhyay, or you can go to their website at http://www.halo-soma.org. If you have a speech pathologist or teacher that that is open, and can learn about the different methods to build this type of communication, that can be incredibly helpful as you begin this journey! Dillan and I are going to try to get more information on his blog about his communication journey in the near future. All the best!
      Tami

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      • Exactly! my son learned to type on his ipad by beginning with the Rapid Prompting Method. Only through this method was he able, like Dillan, to access his actual thoughts/words.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. You are an inspiration Dillan! I teach college students a course called, Inclusive Care and Education in Early Childhood, and I will share your story with them when I teach the course again. I look for examples of individuals who have found paths to share their voice and their experiences despite the challenges they face. Temple Grandin’s story is another amazing story like yours! Thank you so much for sharing your journey publicly – seeing a person first is the message I want my students to have when they meet that little child who is ‘different’. Thank-you!!!

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    • Hi Linda,

      This is Tami, Dillan’s mom. Thank you for using the words of those who really know about what its like to live with autism in order to open the minds of future educators. Dillan’s entire reason for wanting this blog is to make a difference for others who are struggling to find a voice, so this will make him very happy:) Yes, seeing the person first is so important, and Dillan would also add that what’s most important to him is to be believed in. Thanks for your comment. We hope you will continue to visit!
      Tami

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  12. Hi Dillan, I saw your AMAZING session at Stanford MedX. I was absolutely blown away by it. You’re incredible & and inspiration. I love working in healthcare, but that was the best session ever ever ever.. well done. Wishing you and your family and wonderful speech coach all the best… thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Elizabeth Egan

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    • Hi Elizabeth,

      That was an incredible conference!! Dillan spent over an hour after his presentation “talking” to people who felt much like you did. We were blown away by the positive energy and desire to help. Amazing! Thanks so much for visiting Dillan’s blog, and for your words of encouragement. That is what keeps Dillan going. It means so much to him!!
      Tami

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  13. Hi. I have a 7 year old son with autism. He is also non verbal. He gets speech therapy at school but i dont think that hes getting the services that he needs. When i read your story it gave me more hope , and would do anything to help him communicate and tell us what it is that he wants.Do you maybe have any sugestions what to do and what approach to use maybe, honestly dont know what else to try. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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    • Hi Ida,

      This is definitely a journey of learning different ways of looking at autism, and building skills that lead to meaningful communication. We were fortunate to find some professionals to help us with this, but it is not easy to find people who see this possibility in nonspeaking individuals. Here is a good place to start:
      *Ido in Autismland is an incredible book (he also has a blog and Facebook page by the same name)
      *Another important read is Understanding Autism Through Rapid Prompting Method by Soma Mukhopadhyay.

      I wish you and your son all the best. Hope this is in some way helpful to you both on this journey.

      My best,
      Tami

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