By Andrew Simmons
I used to feel so lonely I wanted to die. I used to sit in my room reading baby books and watching baby shows that I hated but I couldn't stop myself. My mom and dad thought it was what I wanted to do but it was the last thing I wanted to do! It made me so hopeless and crying in my head was what I did. That you might think I wanted that was my body not my brain. The saddest part of my life was in my house in Indiana. I knew I had a voice but no one else did. It was like living in great times but no one knew I was there.
I hated school because I knew I was better than what they thought I was! Getting to school by riding the bus was good but everything else was bad. They didn't know my voice was in there so it's not their fault but it made my life awful. I really wanted to learn so much more but didn't get to.
Getting through those times was hard. I very much wanted to live in the holy place of heaven. I passed the time by thinking of holy things like God. My happiest times were when I thought about pulling my voice up (asked for more clarification), telling people I had a voice.
My mom was just the motivation I needed. I remember her taking me to music classes at Miss Casey's (Andrew's previous music therapist from Indiana) to learn about my body. The best part of my week was when Miss Casey came because she got me. It was hard not hearing my voice but I knew she would find me.
I used to feel so hopeless but now I don't. Now I see God's plan for me! Good education is so important to my life that people just need to know my brain is hungry for knowledge! If you have a voice but no one has found it, please please please don't give up on your life!
Andrew Simmons is a 15 year old with autism. Nonverbal his whole life, Andrew was assumed to have the mentality of a 2-3 year old until April of last year. Andrew "found his voice" using supported typing as a way to communicate and has not looked back! He is a strong self-advocate. His goal is to “reach millions to tell others about his voice” using his tag line “Freedom is Here!” Andrew currently lives with his Mom, Dad, his 2 brothers and his support dog, Campbell. Please visit his Facebook page "Andrew's Real Life of Autism" to learn more!