Today’s post for Autism Awareness Month comes from an inspirational young boy named Philip.
I read an article by Philip, published on The Mighty, a few months back, and have been fascinated by his story ever since. Philip is autistic and was unable to communicate with others until the age of 9, when his family discovered Rapid Prompting Method (RPM). Now Philip is able to communicate via a letterboard and typing. He can communicate so well he has his own blog and facebook page, where he shares the story of his path from silence to communication.
Here’s what he wants the world to know about autism.
My name is Philip.
I am 13.
Autism is my life.
Many people do not understand autism.
Autism is a way of being.
Man looks for peace in different ways. In my life I need to make peace with my environment first.
My senses make me overwhelmed with sounds from so many things at once, sights demanding my attention all the time, and sensations in my body making me distracted from my immediate task.
People think stims are not purposeful, but they serve a necessary function by helping me turn off some stimuli so I can function better.
Being nonverbal is hard because I am misunderstood all the time. Oasis came to me when I learned to communicate through spelling.
Meaningful communication allowed me to no longer be thought of as unthinking and gave me a new life.
Being autistic is not bad. I like myself.
But people can make our lives sad by not understanding we are like any other person with thoughts and feelings.
Listening to negative talk about us is most upsetting. Many negative feelings lessen our love for ourselves.
Being treated like a pet to train makes us feel lower than human. Autism is not the problem. Misunderstanding is the problem.
I hope I can help change ideas about autism.
My peace comes from being included in society, accepted for who I am, and supported to communicate my mind.
Please help make the world a more loving and supportive place where autistics can live peacefully with the rest of society.
Philip lives in NY, USA. He is in 7th grade and is partially mainstreamed in public school.
Philip first learned to communicate using Rapid Prompting Method at age 9.
He writes the blog Faith, Hope, and Love with Autism and has had his writings published in the anthology Typed Words, Loud Voices, The Buffalo News, and The Mighty
He enjoys nature and riding his bike