(Written for Enhanced Lit class – 9th grade 10/9/14)
I acted autistic. Each day listening to directions was so hard. The teacher tried to heal my pain with lessons that were simple since she assumed I did not understand. I essentially appeared to many as an autistic wild student and for that reason alone, it was assumed I can’t have any interest in learning. Reality placed me in an impossible position. Yes, I wanted to learn, but the impossible pace of my sensory needs were always winning the battle. So I acted in the only easy way I could. The teacher needed to rely on her skills to help me. I know I was a difficult child and I easily lost myself in my sensory experiences. The teacher tried to pull my attention and interrupt my love of toys. How would you respond if each time you had your entire reason for some small amount of happiness taken from you? I reacted badly. I learned to manage my behavior as long as I could to earn some reward. On the outside I learned to have better behavior, but on the inside I was hardly living. The one thing I learned is that you are either gaining a real perspective about autistic people or a totally different one, and the autism educators today have a lot to carefully consider.