My Autism Speaks Loudly, but not Today

Voice_poolsideNow that I have a voice, I am seen and heard in a way that had never been possible before. Anyone who sees in my inner mind, sees me. Autism is a voice too, but not in the way I want to be heard. People all can hear my autism, and they interpret from it a lot about who I am. Before I had a voice, I was locked away in a prison of a body that was uncontrollable. No one saw me inside trying to love those that loved me too. Before, my world was in total isolation. My family loved me, and I felt their love and wished I could speak to them and say, “I’m in here.” They, more and more every day, saw autism acting in my place. Autism acting out my feelings of loneliness in the way I line up my animals, in the way I make my piles, in the way I scream and laugh. Always autism acting in my place, not me. Not my mind that wanted to love back and to be included. Hard to describe a world that is in total control of you. Hard to describe how impossible it was to be always in prison. No words can fully explain. My words fill in parts of an experience that I existed in. An experience that was totally overwhelming in my senses and in my emotions. I was in chains, made helpless by a sensory and emotional system that was faulty.

Appearances, I suppose, really matter to people. Each day I shaped people’s perceptions about me with my autism. It took finding that person who could imagine me before really seeing me, to break through. A person who believed in me and had so much confidence in me when I had none, was a person worth working as hard as I could for to push through the autism to relate back. Rarely has a person been able to see past my autism. When I had really reached that place where I could type out my words and have them seen, read, and heard, then I could tell the people in my life what was happening to me, what I was struggling with, and what I was feeling. I could give them a way to help me that I could never have before. I can finally speak for myself now. I can talk with a voice. A voice that is now being heard. An autistic voice that is being heard around the world in people’s own lives and in their own families.

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HollyRod Foundation DesignCare 2015

**More of summer 2015**

Editor’s note:  This was a very exciting evening for us!  Dillan received the HollyRod Autism Champion Award at the DesignCare 2015 event, which gave him an opportunity to speak to more people about autism and the need for a shift  in perceptions (He has a one-track mind!).  How he made it down the red carpet (ok, it was purple) is beyond me, but he posed for pictures and actually typed for several different reporters…typing something different each time, but always a version of the same message – autistic people need to be heard.  A big THANK YOU to HollyRod and their generous supporters for all they do for our community!

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(Dillan’s acceptance speech)

Many autistic sons and daughters might get a moment now and then to find a way to communicate their thoughts.  Many times a family member hears and sees old tough behavior and buys into the all powerful notion that autism is an overwhelming impossible assailant who has taken their child’s mind.  Not until their child’s voice is heard by alternative communication are they able to see past the autism and discover their child.  Having come this far, I have learned that we autistic people also want to be heard, not just for a reward, but because we are individuals who want to be in relationship as much as any of you.  Getting this honor and having the opportunity to be allowed to be a representative for another perspective has been amazing.  I so hope to change the way that autistic people are seen.  I hope that you all can begin to let go of the same old beliefs and listen to autistic voices all over the world.  We are people easily disregarded but we are more like you than you could ever imagine.  Thank you.

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