Saturday, January 21, 2017

Buffalo RPM Presentation

This past Thursday I participated in the Buffalo RPM presentation. My mom and her friends started a nonprofit organization named Buffalo RPM to teach people in our area how to do RPM (Rapid Prompting Method). The group teaches people about RPM and a new way to look at autism. The talk my mom and her two partners made was perfect. They told about how RPM changed our lives for the better. They talked about changing the definition of autism. I liked how my mom wants people to stop making neurotypical assumptions about the mental capacity of autistic people based on their outward appearances. She said that we should define autism as a different way of sensing, moving, and interacting with the environment. We should seek to understand and find ways to teach and accommodate us in the best way we are able. The presenters showed that RPM helps people communicate by helping them learn and show what they know.

Hearing the presentation helped me see how neurotypical people view autism. They like to measure people to a normal standard. They don't want their child to be too different from how most people are. They probably think it is a burden to bear. I think if they would get to understand how we work and how to get to us, it would lift the burden from everyone. I think we would all be happier. God makes us different so we can't do everything ourselves. I think life is more interesting when we depend on one another and celebrate our differences.

Seeing people wanting to learn RPM is a pleasure to me. I loved seeing people watch the presentation. Mom did amazing telling my journey and showing how to do RPM. I am very proud of her. Learning to speak in public is now a goal of mine. I got my first gig introducing the group with Kaylie using our keyboards. Kaylie did great. She was so calm and made a powerful opening statement. She told the crowd that the hardest thing about autism is not being able to communicate and RPM gave her a voice. I was next but I got nervous and ran out of the room. But my mom got me and calmed me down enough for me to type that I was happy to see so many people wanting to learn RPM. I was so glad I did it. Everyone clapped and mom whispered good job. My dad was proud of me too. I celebrated my accomplishment with a prayer of alleluia to God as I made my way back to my dad. 

I want to help make the world a kinder place for people like me. Learning to advocate is really important. I will keep on speaking every chance I get. 

 Copyright 2017 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Too Fast- Poem on the Roaring 20s

This poem was a school assignment for Philip's social studies class at school.  The original assignment was to draw a picture freehand about the events of the Roaring 20's.  Because Philip cannot draw at this point, we changed it to a poem.  He got 100% on it!  -Lisa

Too Fast
By Philip Reyes

Roar goes the crowd at the big party.
Roar go the engines of a million Model T’s.
Roar go the horns of the Harlem Renaissance.
Will the world again rest from all the noise?

Roar goes the movies.
Roar goes the radio.
Roar goes the jazz club with dancers up all night long.
Will the world again sleep to rest from all its motion?

Roar go the flappers.
Roar go the lounges of speakeasies.
Roar goes the laughter of people having the time of their lives.
Will the world again care about more than selfish fun?

Roar go the cash registers.
Roar go the vacuums.
Roar goes the bull market with get rich dreams.
Will the world again care to give rather than take?

Roar go the politicians.
Roar goes the mob.
Roar go the schemes of men in power.
Will the world again value honesty and integrity?

Watch out you do not go too fast or get too proud.
It might all come crashing down.  

 Copyright 2017 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Gaining Self-Control

This year I was able to make progress in my self-control. I am now able to sit quietly for long periods of time. I sit through movies, concerts, and church much better. This Christmas break I watched Rogue One and La La Land. I enjoyed them. In school I can sit longer without having a break. I have become more used to sensations I could not handle in the past. I can now handle loud noises and resonant buildings. I am able to make my anxiety calm down so I can take part in more things. I listen to my rational mind telling me that I will be ok even though my body is tense or my heart is beating fast.

Last Tuesday I went to my high school orientation. I was nervous to go. I was meaning to make a good imitation of a neurotypical kid. I did not want to stand out. I tried to act cool. There were many people when I arrived at the auditorium for orientation. The band played music. Last year I would have freaked out at the number of people, the loud music, and the pressure to behave at my best. I probably would have tried to escape to avoid sensory overload and a meltdown. This time I was not bothered by the crowds like I used to be. I was able to sit quietly and listen to the talks. I even went around to different classrooms to learn about the different departments. I was saintly during each talk. I would like to take journalism and creative writing. Taking interesting courses is going to be awesome. I am excited for high school.

Learning to sit well is so important for success in school. I progress daily as I become more part of society. I am making peace with my difficult body by getting better at waiting for my mind to have a say on how I act. Naturally I can’t control certain reactions my body makes. I am a slave to impulses and obsessions. I struggle to use my mind to plan a different motor plan to counteract my body’s bad behaviors. Lately I am beginning to see my mind win more battles over my actions. I am learning from experience how to manage my unruly body better. Making my body peaceful is freeing me to be able to do a lot more. I am looking forward to going to high school next year.

Copyright 2017 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Morning Report

Morning report is my daily routine with Mom and Lia. Every school day I listen to a Bible devotion. It helps me be at peace to hear God’s word and how I can try to use his meaningful words to help me through the day. I love to hear that God loves me and He wants me to keenly be aware of his presence. I learn that my worth is not based on what people think of me or how I act. My worth is based on being God's loved child. I am trying my best to be a good young man. I cannot always be what people want me to be. I can try to be what God wants me to be. I think what God wants is for me to be making the most of what I have been given. I have been given autism. I see and experience the world differently. I can offer the world a different perspective on things.

I search for ways to meet God daily. Sometimes He meets me in my dreams. He teaches me to be satisfied with my life as autistic. He tells me that His will always prevails. I can play a role in bringing about His will for autistics. His will is for everyone to have joy in their lives. That includes autistics.

I am trying to make a difference in the world. The world needs to be more inclusive of autistic people. People should be more compassionate and understanding. Autistic people desire the same things most people do. I desire a purposeful life. I want to accomplish goals. I want to have friends. I want meaningful communication.

My morning reports are my thoughts I have regarding God's word as it relates to my life. I am peaceful God loves me no matter how I behave. I am happy to hear God's word everyday. I learn so much wisdom for living the life I desire most.

Copyright 2016 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


I have been dealing with impulsive behaviors lately. An impulse is like having an itch you have to scratch. It only gets relieved by giving into it. People think we can just stop but it is almost impossible when the impulse comes.

I have been having impulses to throw things, flip light switches, spit, or request tickles. It is awful. I know it is rude and inappropriate and yet I cannot stop myself. I feel horrible when I cause trouble for others and myself. I feel anxious when I am having impulsive feelings. I feel I might cause a scene. Sometimes I do. One time I flipped a switch many times causing my classroom to have a strobe light ambience. Another time I threw my socks and shoes in class and had to leave the class.

I know I am hindering my chances to be more included when I act like this. Part of getting out of an impulsive loop is reminding myself what the consequences are to my actions. I also should take responsibility for my actions. I should pick up the things I throw. I should apologize for spitting and disruptive behavior. I should take some time to think about how my actions affect others.

Peace comes when I don’t give into an impulse. Like scratching an itch, giving into impulses always makes things worse. Learning to quiet impulses by purposeful alternative actions is my goal. I have given myself a motor plan of rubbing my hands together when impulsive thoughts start. I have been practicing at school. I am doing a lot better since I  started this. I hope my learning to control impulses can help others like me.

Relaxing in my "Space Explorer"

Copyright 2016 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Advice for Teachers

A writes:

Hello Phillip and mom. It’s me the OT again in need of some advice. Hoping you all are doing well. So I am still working with my friend, who is non-verbal, but very much aware of EVERYTHING. He is almost 5 years old and is really starting to buck the system. I have taken your advice very seriously and have been working with him on purposeful motor activities, which he usually gets mad at me for, pinching me and pushing his head into my face. I always tell him that I understand that this is hard, but I know he can do it. Please advise....what is the most encouraging way that you have had someone working with you be?  I don't want him to not want to come to therapy, but I also don't want to be a disservice and not help him to be more than he knows he can be... Understand that most of our session is way's just those moments...

I would like to tell you about people who make good teachers. People who are nice, patient, and understanding make the best teachers. I mean to help the caring teachers be more effective at helping us. I owe a debt of gratitude to all my teachers. I love learning. I try to learn from everyone.  My teachers make my learning interesting by acting interested in what they teach.

I hope you are becoming more aware of the reasons behind your students’ behaviors. When I get overwhelmed with stress I am more likely to act impulsively. I stress when I am in new situations. I stress when I feel I am not in control of my body. The fear of acting badly is often a source of anxiety too. My body acts with a mind of its own. I never mean to hurt or annoy people. I should learn to better meet stressful situations. I can take deep breaths. I can pray.

I need patient and kind teachers who know I am not trying to be bad. The people who can wait for me to do things on my own time are the best. This does not mean I should not be pushed. I need to be pushed or else I could not progress. What I need is someone who can help me be successful at being my best at that time. Teachers cannot get me to do what I am incapable to do yet. But they should be patient to let me keep trying because some day I might get it. Please try not to get frustrated with me. I know I can be hard to understand.

I think the best way to deal with behaviors is not letting them make you hardened toward me. I do these things because I get anxious, scared, or feel out of control or overwhelmed. Try to understand. Try not to get mad at me. Try to keep me calm by being a calming person. Be encouraging and persistent. Learn from me too. Push me more but not in a mean way. Mean manners make me more upset. Be a good person to me and you will so win my trust and hard work, but know I still have my limits. I badly want to learn and progress. Meaningful relationships with my teachers are ones in which my teachers know I am smart and push me to do more in a gentle and understanding manner. I love when I learn something new. I need teachers.


Copyright 2016 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.