Autism: Ignorance to Truth

Today Jake and I read and discussed The Top 10 Things You Should Know About Apraxia According to a Nonspeaker by Philip Reyes. Jake has struggled with so much “intensity” regarding his life circumstances that this piece deeply hit home. 

To finish we used a creative comparison format (taught to us by Katie) which seemed easier than an open discussion. Jake’s response to each prompt is in bold:

Autism: Ignorance to Truth

As ordinary as having the ability to talk.
As rare as being the only one.

As mean as hate.
As kind as love.

As hard as stony, marching soldiers.
As soft as hearing I’m not hate.

Ignorance has to march along to the sound of hate, but truth must hear only love.

Jake McClintick is now 27 years old and has been learning to communicate using a letterboard since age 18. Learning the process of using a letterboard through the Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) was a gradual process that took several years. We are still working on expanding RPM and Jake’s confidence/skills beyond our “work sessions.”  Regardless, this low-tech alternative communication system has been an answered prayer for us both.

At the age of 22 he began expressing his very personal thoughts and feelings more fluently with me (his mom.) He is diagnosed with severe autism as well as intermittent explosive disorder. He has given me permission to share his story and our conversations. He continually expresses his desire to “find purpose” to his life…I hope his willingness to share will help others learn about this misunderstood condition known as “autism” that has so much to teach us all.