Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

By Philip

This year I have so much to be thankful for. God loves me and has been so kind to me. Against many odds I was able to take regular classes this year. A few years ago I was in a segregated school and learning about letters and numbers up to 5. I was learning nothing new. Another waste of a year. I was measuring my life by the attacks I made on my teachers in protest of a good mind being made to address the most mind numbing work. I had been identifying coins for the last 3 years. It was boredom to say the least. Now I get to learn something new everyday. Practicing how to live in the real world means following how neurotypical people get to live. I am now getting to live among them.  I love it. I have to study like the next person. Opportunities are opening up to me everyday. I am blogging, writing for magazines, getting involved in autism missions, and doing more fun things. I can now ride a bike, go to sports events, go to church and Stockade, and I have more courage to try new things. I am thankful for so many blessings. I love that I now have a voice and have peace about being able to have more say in my life.

Watching a Michigan football game with Dad (first big sports event)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Improving My Way

By Philip

I am peaceful today because people are treating me a lot differently than they used to. Today I went bowling with my friend Max. I was happy because Max's dad made conversation with me and made me feel I am important. He said I helped him see Max in a new light. I am doing my best to make a difference. I am pleased when I can see how I have helped.

I have heard of an interesting idea called Neurodiversity. I think it should be the new way of seeing autism. Neurodiversity is the idea that autistics have a different neurology and shouldn't be expected to become a person with a neurotypical neurology. No one can be cured of autism. Therefore we should stop making cure a goal. Instead let's try to accommodate our difficulties in communication. To continue to use therapies that don't respect our neurology such as ABA is like trying to beat a dead horse. They don't allow us to grow how a person should. Peace comes when I can see meaningful changes in my life. This year I have been able to join regular classes at school. I am proud to be able to attend because last year I couldn't because of my behaviors. Now I can handle myself much better. I love learning new and interesting things. I also can do things without as much anxiety as I used to have. I can go to crowded arenas, meet new people, and try new activities like biking and ice skating. I am still autistic 100%. But I am making progress like a human being should.

Copyright 2015 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Caring For Friends

By Philip

I am so happy to have friends. Caring for my friends is accepting them as they are and helping them fare better in life.  I love being able to help. Caring for my friends addressing communication is giving my life an honest purpose. I most desire to make rpm (Rapid Prompting Method) and communication for autistics a priority. I want my nonverbal friends to have a voice to make their thoughts known and have more control in their lives. I have had my life change because of rpm. Meaningful communication came into action. Before I could do rpm, I was stuck in my mind. No one knew how much I knew and how I wanted to reach them to let them know I was with them, participating in their conversations even though I looked not to care.  I am heartfully advocating to give my nonverbal peers a chance to find their voices. Advocating for creating opportunities to make rpm available and accepted at school is important. My school practices rpm a lot. I love it there. Having teachers who understand me makes a purposeful education possible. Peace is achieved when communication is heard. I would like to help my friends escape their silent prisons and enter the world to enjoy it like everyone else. I long for a world in which all people have a voice. I hope to make more friends as I eagerly accept my life's quest.  Friends make life happy and memorable.

Copyright 2015 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Body Language

This post is a response to a comment from Anonymous:

Hi Philip! Since you are writing about some myths can you write about this? I hear very often that autistics have difficulty reading body language of those around them, especially in social interactions. But my personal experience is that autistics are very perceptive and often pick up on very small details. What is your experience?

I am very good at reading body language. I am good at reading facial expressions too. Many times I have to maintain my distance from people because I have too hard a time not getting distracted by small details like a fearful grimace or an unfriendly sneer. Those faces make me feel badly. I like faces that smile and relax. I am so soothed. I am sensitive to the moods of others. The hardest emotion to see is anger. It’s the worst because it makes me fear being helpless and unable to think. You should really control your anger around us. We can easily lose control of ourselves. In my case, I can get aggressive with people or injure myself. I practice staying away from angry people. It is good for me to be around positive people. Making life more relaxed and loving is good for me.

Copyright 2015 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Philip's Letter to Parents

This is a letter from Philip to parents who have contacted him to address their fears and worries about their children diagnosed with autism. 

Dear Parents,
As an autistic boy, I want you to know I am happy. My autistic neurology makes me think very differently than most people. I can sense the world keenly, making me a very observant person. People make wrong assumptions about people who don't act like a typical person. Making assumptions about something as important as your child is dangerous if you make the wrong conclusions. I have lived the consequences of my parents' wrong assumptions. Being thought as retarded and in need of remedial education assigned me to many years of ABA and useless therapies based on neurotypical assumptions of autism. Man assumes many things they don't really know. The best way to know someone is to hear from them personally. The only way to hear from me has been through RPM (Rapid Prompting Method). I think most autistic people can make use of assistive means to communicate. Parents should look into learning more communication methods. Body awareness programs would also help a lot. My parents have done a lot of therapies. Making life as normal as possible and helping us to communicate is what makes the biggest difference in our lives. Please teach us interesting things.  Don’t just address the things you want to fix. Accept us the same way you want to be accepted yourself. Mainly, maintain an attitude of love and patience towards us. Making us feel loved is an essential part of helping us meet the challenges of living in this world.

September 2015

Copyright 2015 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.

Friday, October 2, 2015


By Philip

I think a hobby is an important thing to have. Many autistic people really need hobbies. If we have a hobby we can focus fast energy into an avenue of fun or expertise.  I make addressing autism in my blog a hobby. I am making a habit of writing so I can be an author some day. I am practicing maintaining my blog even when I am busy with school. Lately I have been wanting to try new things. I thank my mom for enrolling me in bike camp this past summer. I love to ride my bike. I feel so peaceful and free. Practicing to have patience in developing a hobby is hard. I am bad at moving my body, but with practice I can develop muscle memory to bike. Now I can bike each day.  Lots of very interesting hobbies can be had. People I know are into bowling, running, art, and swimming. If you do not have a hobby, I recommend you pursue one.

*For Rick who asked Philip about his interests and hobbies on Facebook and whom we had the pleasure to meet while in New Hampshire.  

 Philip's writings are included in this anthology of writings by people who communicate through typing.

 Biking with siblings.

Copyright 2015 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.