Drama & Theater

THEATER IS ONE OF MY GREATEST LOVES. THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT HAVING THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING IN A A DARKENED THEATER AND WATCHING PEOPLE TRANSFORM THEMSELVES INTO OTHER CHARACTERS. I ENJOY PLAYS MORE THAN MOVIES BECAUSE THEY ARE EXPERIENTIAL WHILE MOVIES ARE SIMPLY OBSERVATIONS.

THAT I HAVE SO MANY FORMER FACILITATORS WHO ARE ACTORS IS NO COINCIDENCE. I LIKED THEIR ENERGY AND THEIR FLAIR.

MY CLASS AT SCHOOL IS THE BEST WAY TO BRING OUT PEOPLE’S CREATIVITY! THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD IDEAS THAT PEOPLE COME UP WITH. HOW FORTUNATE I AM TO BE ABLE TO TAKE PART. I WISH I COULD TALK TO MY FRIENDS ABOUT THEIR IDEAS AND HAVE LINES IN THEIR PLAYS. NOWHERE CAN I TALK AS WELL AS I CAN IN MY DREAMS.

TASH Conference Presentation

Via Growing Kids Therapy Center

Emma, Niko, Huan, Ben and Liam present in a panel discussion, Voices of Exclusion: Nonspeaking Youth Advocate for Inclusive Education.

Would you like to welcome our audience?

Emma: HI EVERYONE
Niko: HELLO
Huan: HI THERE SO GLAD YOU ARE HERE
Ben: I AM DELIGHTED TO BE HERE
Liam: HI WELCOME TO PORTLAND

Can you address the difference between speech and understanding?

Emma: I CAN NOT SPEAK BUT I CAN THINK.
Niko: MY COMPREHENSION IS PERFECT. I JUST CANT GET THE WORDS OUT OF MY MOUTH.
Huan: MY CONTROL OF MY BODY IS LIMITED. HOWEVER I CAN THINK JUST FINE.
Ben: GETTING THE WORDS OUT OF MY MOUTH IS IMPOSSIBLE BUT THIS IS NOT A REFLECTION OF MY THINKING.
Liam: MY STUPID MOUTH BETRAYS ME. I AM SO MUCH SMARTER THAN I SHOW.

What can you tell our audience about your motor system?

Ben: MY MOTOR SYSTEM IS UNRELIABLE AT BEST. AT WORST MY MOTOR IS A DISASTER. I CANT CONTROL MY SELF AT TIMES. SO I VERY MUCH GET EMBARRASSED BY MY BODY.
Huan: I AGREE COMPLETELY WITH BEN! I HAVE MORE CONTROL OF MYSELF AT TIMES THEN FOR NO REASON I DON’T.
Niko: DITTO. I CANT SAY IT ANY BETTER.
Emma: SAME HERE.
Liam: I AGREE WITH MY LOVELY FRIENDS!

Liam, can you please explain the difference between the words that come out of your mouth versus what you spell on the letter boards?

L: WORDS LOVE TO TRICK ME. THEY GIVE LIES TO MY THOUGHTS.

How does your lack of speech affect your education?
Emma: NO ONE TEACHES US BECAUSE WE DON’T SPEAK.
Niko: MY SCHOOL IS ALLOWING ME TO RPM. THIS HAS BEEN LIFE CHANGING. I FINALLY AM GETTING AN EDUCATION.(Video)
Huan: LUCKY NIKO! THIS NEEDS TO BE THE NORM NOT THE EXCEPTION.
Ben: CANT AGREE MORE. WHAT POSSIBLE HARM COULD COME FROM TEACHING US?
Emma: I AGREE WITH BEN.
Liam: SO WHAT ARE YOU IN THIS ROOM GOING TO DO TO CHANGE THINGS?

Do you have suggestions for educators?
Liam: YES. START HAVING A LITTLE FAITH IN US!
Emma: TEACH US LIKE WE WANT TO LEARN.
Niko: I THINK YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE. STOP DOUBTING AND START TEACHING.
Huan: HAVE FAITH IN OUR ABILITY TO LEARN. UNDER THIS UNCOOPERATIVE BODY IS AN EAGER STUDENT.
Ben: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR STUDENTS ABILITIES WILL ASTOUND YOU. VERY SMART, HEARTS OF GOLD, AND WILLING TO GO TO ANY LENGTH TO LEARN.

Rapid fire! Can you briefly tell us what you have to offer and inclusive classroom?
Ben: MENTAL AGILITY
Huan: MY LEADERSHIP
Niko: MY FRIENDSHIP
Emma: HUMOR
Liam: REALLY GREAT DANCE MOVES

Last thoughts for our audience?
Emma: PLEASE OPEN YOUR MINDS
Niko: HAVE A NEW RESPECT FOR AUTISTICS
Huan: MAKE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR YOUR LEARNERS.
Ben: STOP EXCLUDING NONSPEAKING AUTISTICS.
Liam: RESPECT YOUR LEARNERS. WE WILL NOT DISAPPOINT YOU.

Summer & Summer Camp

I LIKE SUMMER BECAUSE IT’S HOT AND THERE IS CAMP. I DO NOT WANT TO BE A JUNIOR COUNSELOR THIS TIME. I WANT TO GO TO CAMP WHERE I CAN DO OTHER ACTIVITIES BESIDES WATCH OVER LITTLE KIDS. I WOULD PREFER TO GO TO CAMP WITH OTHER KIDS MY AGE. I WANT TO GO TO CAMP WHERE I CAN MAKE FRIENDS AND HANG TOGETHER WITH A GIRL.
 
(Do you prefer if it’s a camp with other autistic people or not?)
 
BOY, I DON’T KNOW BECAUSE I AM USED TO HAVING PEOPLE AROUND ME WHO DON’T HAVE AUTISM. BUT THERE ARE AUTISTIC PEOPLE I WOULD LIKE TO MEET. I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT.