(Essay for Landscaping class 8th grade – 3/21/14)
I have always liked rose bushes. They are so beautiful and colorful. They on, any given day, have the chance to bloom or lose their petals. Roses are even able to change how our surroundings smell. They can take a plain area of land and so easily turn it into a living work of art. I love the way they get old and actually wither. I easily open them and feel their softness and delicate skin. I deal in all senses so I smell, look, and feel roses, only each time I pick them, I am sorry they are only living long enough to make me happy.
I often wonder about lots of things but really what I think about the most is the injustice of how people with autism are existing.
Our existence is not really living.
Regardless, I believe that in the right relationship amazing things can happen.
“Until I lived in the real world, I did not know people really wanted to know about autism. Possibly I can give lessons telling my autism point of view. Feelings penetrate understanding of autism. Kind of prison people really are not familiar with. Let me tell you all about it.” – Dillan Barmache
(The story below was written at age 11 with Soma Mukhopadhyay in Austin, TX – first time he wrote about autism)
Once upon a time a boy had two heads. But the doctors did nothing with them. One head was smart, other head was autistic. People could not see the smart head. They only saw the autistic head. But the smart head heard and saw everyone. One day, the smart head was really tired of the autistic head, because that head had the same sound pattern for twenty minutes. Smart head could not think, so he had to fall asleep and waited for autistic head to calm down.
The process of coming out of autism was and still is a constant struggle that I experience every day. People need to understand that all of us autistic people make decisions about the people trying to help us too. We are so reliant on outside support that we live with a sort of connection, and a type of understanding is formed with our therapists. I have had so many people try and help me, but what so often occurred was an inevitable process that was impossible to change. Living with autism is so hard mainly cause I have to rely so much on the experience and understanding of others. Appearing to be kind only goes so far. Autism is a total overwhelming sensory experience for everyone involved. How therapists respond is the key that each of us looks for when we begin our journey with a therapist.
To each autistic person living without a voice, I hope you find a person in your existence that will believe in you, try to connect with you, and most importantly, do it always with respect and belief in your abilities to think.