My name is Philip. I am almost eleven. I want you to know I spell on my letterboard to communicate. The reason is I am autistic and cannot talk. I can like the same things today as you do. I am very smart but my body is dumb. My body will not listen to my brain. I may want to say, “Hi, how are you?” but it comes out wrong. I have some interests. I like to watch soccer and TV. I like to listen to music and read biographies. I am pretty shy to play with other kids. I am wanting you to simply understand who I am. I have feelings like you. I’m telling you to consider me as none other than like you. Someday I hope to talk too. I am understanding lonely, rightly so. I am one to understand someone’s beliefs about me. I look dumb, sorry, and fearful. I hope to change your perceptions. I am someone who has to work so hard to get by in this world. I am kind of built for another planet. To understand this, please do not tease me. I kind of feel bad when you sometimes ignore me. It sometimes makes me feel like I don’t matter. Even if I look like I don’t like you, I do. I might make a lot of noise because sometimes I can’t help it. I reach out to you so we can be friends. Thank you for listening.