Henry would like to attend the public school across the street from his home, but the school has denied him entry. The school told Henry they don't serve "students like Henry." Henry is autistic, non-speaking and communicates through a voice-activated iPad.
It's up to our whole community to remind our politicians that our voices count. We need programs, not just promises. We need to know how our politicians intend to make a difference for the autism community.
My grandson and I recently went to a baseball game. He is learning about the sport his grandfather loves. While we were there, he completely reprogrammed my cell phone. He fixed a problem in thirty seconds that Apple's tech people couldn't fix in three hours.
Speak out, and while many may not want to listen or may even try to silence you, do not let them. Do not remain silent. Add your voice to the chorus of others who are here with you, who are like you, who also have Aspergers.
"My name is Amy. And I'm an online dating fibber." When I filled in my application, I wrote my age from four years earlier. It wasn't as bad as one woman I know who, after fibbing about her age, weight, and hair color wrote that what she's looking for in a man is "honesty."
We can either continue to collectively stand on the sidelines and debate what is causing autism and if it is an epidemic or we can get on the field and start addressing the real problem -- a generation of children with autism.
I am profoundly grateful to each and every one of the autists who are speaking out and expressing their opinions on their blogs and through other forms of media. If we want autism awareness, these are the voices that need to be heard. It is up to us to listen.
In 1994, autism was not recognized or diagnosed "early." The attitude was "wait and see" because the diagnosis of "autism" invariably meant life-long severe disability, not the "spectrum" we recognize today.