Jake Pleads the Cause for “My Autism Friends” (The Full Lesson)

Jake had to choose between math, writing a letter to someone, writing a story entry or having a casual conversation, or a Psalm and Proverbs lesson from the book by Lenae Crandall He chose the Psalms and Proverbs lesson so we started lesson #2 which was on Proverbs 31:9:

Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.  Proverbs 31:9

This lesson took us two days to complete, and due to our schedule they were two days apart, the first on Monday 3/29 and the pt.2 on Thursday 4/1.

Part 1 – Monday March 29, 2021

After writing the verse on the paper I asked Jake if he remembered what the book of Proverbs was written to teach us. He pointed to Y for “yes.”

Jake: Wisdom.

Mom(Tara/Me):  Yeah, gems of wisdom for us to contemplate -now when you think of the word “wisdom” how would you define it?

Jake:  Very deep understandings.

Mom: I love that description! So before we break it down, as a whole, why do you think this (I read the verse aloud again), why do you think God is telling us this is a wise thing to do?

Jake:  Really important having someone reality helping so most not lose hope. Easy to have very sad interest having stopped love, flowing God love, reality. God love most important in this life experience. Easy to most aggrevate reality mad if not able to find help. Most not able to do, not have what is expected, help is important.

Mom: Wow, yes. I love how you said that. Now let’s break it down. “Open your mouth” – why do you think it says that?

Jake: To plead the case.

Mom: Yes, your written or verbal voice to help others who need help in some way. OK, “judge righteously.” Do you know what “righteous” means?

Jake:  Yes, means only right dealing with God and each other.

Mom: So if we “judge righteously” the needy/poor determining through a Godly perspective what is needed and/or how to help.  Your thoughts?

Jake:  To take needy person’s perspective as is, not as you think that person should be. Easy to be ignorant unless God helps some very awesome way so both learning and helping can happen together.

Part 2 – Thursday April 1, 2021

Today Jake chose to finish the Psalms and Proverbs lesson we started so I asked if he remembered the verse.  I was floored (I don’t know why, the kid is brilliant) when he spelled it out word for word and even remembered the correct numbers for the chapter and verse!

Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.  Proverbs 31:9

Mom:  So we’re at the last part which is “plead the cause.”  What specifically do you think this means we are to do?

Jake:  Most means to speak up for what might help them have a better life.

Mom:  I love that. How about “the poor” – obviously, this could mean financially lacking, can you think of other ways someone might be “poor”?

Jake:  Really most little hope.

Mom:  Absolutely, “poor in spirit” Jesus describe people, poor in outlook on life, God. Not realizing how big and wonderful God is…(I put the letter board out for him to respond).

Jake: I agree.

Mom:  What does “needy” mean to you here?

Jake:  Not having basic needs met.

Mom:  What do you think of when you think of basic needs?

Jake:  Heat. Most have help if only have autism. Comfort home. Some individual dealings with others who understand and care. I have need to only communicate my thoughts sometimes.Food. Water. Toilet. Have most way to wash up sometimes. Stuff to do most interesting. Sleep easy at night.

Mom:  Fantastic list!  OK, for the last part of this lesson you are to think of someone or some group that is poor or needy and plead their cause in your own words.  Can you think of anyone or a group?

Jake:  My autism friends.

Jake Pleads the Cause for His Autism Friends 

I gave Jake the choice between writing a paragraph or list, he chose list:

  1. Helpers that have an understanding heart.
  2. More interesting opportunities autism friendly (Jake’s clarification list is below).
  3. Challenge of autism is not understood by individual with autism either so everyone needs to be willing to learn what is helpful.
  4. Help always treating the person only having a kind heart. Hurts to feel unwanted this life.
  5. Can get better having only most interested determination.

I asked Jake if he could clarify what “autism friendly” is to him, and he literally flew through this list:

  • have good challenges.
  • have patience.
  • have freedom to move, really need to move.
  • have respect for the different reality
  • I can hear everything that is said.
  • I eager to be successful only it is very hard.
  • most interested in how to have real comfort and not hate myself.
  • can hear every sound, like ceasing too much noise.
  • have more intelligence than my body can show.
  • dealing autism is a challenge already, don’t make it harder.
  • be friendly, have big heart.
  • eager to respond, but not always able to.
  • gone into my autism mind, I can still hear you.
  • love you to most realize I am no inferior human. (he growled as he spelled out this one)
  • have feelings like others, but not have abilities like others.
  • have interest in good life too.

Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.  Proverbs 31:9

Jake McClintick is now 25 years old and has been learning to communicate using a letterboard since age 18. Learning the process of using a letter board 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), and it was his idea to begin writing “The Story of My Life” one day. He is diagnosed with severe autism as well as intermittent explosive disorder. He has given me permission to share his story and our conversations.

Jake 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.