Thursday, May 19, 2016

Advice About Interacting With Me

Rick asks:  How are the best ways for people to introduce themselves to you, talk to you, and interact with you?

I like talking to people. I am interested in learning about others and getting meaningful friendships. But learning to interact with people is hard work. I get nervous around people. This is because of lots of things. I mostly get nervous about not being able to meet people’s expectations about me. I am smart but my body is not obedient to my mind. It makes me look stupid, misbehaved, and foolish. That is why I am anxious in public. I can appear like I am rude and uninterested in you. Please don’t take my lack of eye contact and the way I walk away as a sign I don’t like you. I am not in control of my body.  

I like when people can see past my weird behaviors and be patient to listen to me. Make me more comfortable by peaceful patience. Learning to be social is hard but I want it badly. Please say hi to me even though I look like I am not interested in you. I mean to say, “Hi, how are you?” but it won’t come out. Be patient while I type. Be persistent with getting me to learn about you. If I walk away from you while you are talking, it means my body is nervous and needs to move to calm itself. Please don’t take offense. I wish I could stop myself from walking away. You can follow me or wait for me to come back.

I love my relationships in school, church, at home, and on Facebook. I can communicate pretty well but I am slow. I think the Internet has been a wonderful thing for people like me. I can talk to many people at once. I can teach people about autism. I can write my friends letters and texts. My good friends are people who love me and accept my autism.


Philip

My friend Kevin loves to take selfies of us with my iPad!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

How I Have Learned

Dear Phillip
I have a question for you and your mom please.
When you were young before RPM, how did you learn?
I mean did you learn from your therapy sessions or was it from your mom or was it self learning?
Thanks a lot,
MH


Dear MH, 

I have been learning since I was very young. I look like I can’t learn. I waited to make my intelligence manifest. When I was practicing talking as a young child, I would get mad about not being able to say what I very much wanted to say. I wanted to tell my family I was smart, that I wanted to make conversation, and I love them. I wanted to talk so badly. Instead the wrong words came out.

Learning comes from all around me. In practically every moment learning about the world happens. Learning to make an opinion starts with making observations. All you need are your mind and senses. I make use of all my senses. My most relied-on sense is my hearing. I used to learn to read on my own by matching the words mom read to the words on the page she read. Mom read me lots of books. I learned a lot from mom creating lessons everywhere we went. Probably the biggest way I learned was through songs. I love music. My preschool teachers sang to me to get me to talk. I would feel me learning to rock to the beat and practice seeing the lyrics in my head. At church I learned to read the lyrics of worship songs.

I learned from my therapies somewhat. In ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) I learned to make the most of a babyish education by memorizing writings I saw on signs or books in the classroom. ABA taught me to be malleable to get food. Learning was not challenging or fun. I did not need the repetition. Once I learn something, I want to learn something new and interesting. ABA had me repeating the same goals for years.

My favorite therapy before RPM was RDI (Relationship Development Intervention). I liked making my body useful by helping around the house doing chores like laundry, dishes, and lots of other chores. I also liked playing with my family.


RPM is by far the best thing I learned. I am now able to attend regular school. I love it. Meaningful communication allows me to show my intelligence and converse with other people.

Philip




Monday, May 2, 2016

RPM Has Given Me a Voice

Video Blog by Christopher Finnes




Here is a short video message from Christopher Finnes in the UK for parents who are considering RPM (Rapid Prompting Method) for their child. Chris is aged 17 and is home schooled. He began RPM with Soma in 2011 and continues to work on his independant pointing and motor skills everyday. He is not yet able to independently type on a keyboard/Ipad but this is his long-term goal.  

His mum Sue says, "This has been a long journey for us, with many ups and downs, but I have been so inspired by what Chris has achieved using RPM that I felt I could not just keep this to myself. I know that there are thousands of children like my son- whose intelligence is being totally under-estimated, and who are judged by their outward behaviours. Lisa is doing a great job here sharing the writings of many of these children. There are not many RPM teachers worldwide so I decided I wanted specifically to help people to learn RPM, so I set up and moderate a very active international Facebook parent support group 'Unlocking Voices- Using RPM'  and also a not-for-profit company in the UK. My objective is to empower parents to learn how to use RPM with their children and so unlock their unheard voices.'

Sue and Christopher

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Now

By Kaylie



Now

Picking love another useful tool
The love my parents show me is really cool
They never perceived me as autistic only
They treated me nicely

Meeting Soma saved my life
or began my incredible new life

Now I create music
Now I can tell you I'm happy
Now my life has meaning
Now I'm pointing and talking about my feelings

I'm another beautiful person like you
My emotions are really picking love
Our time is precious
I'm pleased love made people believe in me

Now I can make music
Now my baby sister makes me feel loved
Now I'm really more myself
Now I'm educating others





Kaylie is 12 years old and has been using RPM for about 3 years after being inspired by her local friends to give it a try, including Philip.  Since starting RPM, Kaylie has learned to communicate using a Bluetooth keyboard and iPad, has changed schools to our district middle school where she is excelling in her Science and Spanish classes, and has recently started her own blog after lots of encouragement from Philip.  Find Kaylie's blog at www.kayliespeaks.blogspot.com

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Voice




By Umberto



AUTISM IS A HARD LIFE.  MY NAME IS UMBERTO AND I HAVE SEVERE AUTISM.  I AM FIFTEEN YEARS OLD AND HAVE BEEN SILENT FOR MANY YEARS.  I FOUND MY VOICE WITH SOMA RAPID PROMPT METHOD IN DECEMBER OF 2015.  BEFORE RPM, I WAS TRAPPED INSIDE MY HEAD WITH NO WAY TO SHOW MY INTELLIGENCE TO ANYONE.

         AUTISM IS NOT AN INTELLIGENCE PROBLEM, I WAS LEARNING MY ENTIRE LIFE BUT DIDN’T HAVE THE MOTOR PLANNING TO LET ANYONE KNOW.  I TRIED SO MANY OTHER THINGS THAT DIDN’T HELP BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T FOCUS ON MOTOR PLANNING BUT ON REPETITIVE LOW LEVEL ACADEMICS.  I WAS SCARED TO TRY RPM BUT THANKFULLY MY MOTHER INSISTED AND I AM GRATEFUL SHE DID.  I NOW HAVE A VOICE AND A HOPE FOR A BETTER FUTURE.

         AUTISM IS MY LIFE.  I AM KIND.  I AM PEACEFUL.  I AM LOVING.  I AM A GOOD SON.  I AM INTELLIGENT.  I AM NOT A BEHAVIOR PROBLEM.  I AM AN EXCELLENT AUTISTIC KID WHO LOVES ALL SUBJECTS IN SCHOOL.  I AM A FRIEND TO PEOPLE WHO ARE STRUGGLING BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS LIKE TO STRUGGLE.

         I WISH ALL PEOPLE A VOICE AND A HOPE FOR A BRIGHT FUTURE.  SINCERELY - UMBERTO

Umberto started RPM four months ago and is progressing very quickly.  He is thrilled to be studying age appropriate academics and is even more excited to start transitioning to typing on a keyboard with voice output.  Since Umberto’s recent breakthrough with communication, his family is learning a lot about him.  Umberto has a very close relationship with God in which he gained his strength throughout his years of silence.  He is interested in theology, mathematics, science and writing. He has already started writing to encourage others with autism and he hopes to share more of himself as he develops his soon to be blog, Umberto’s Voice.