The Real Boys
In 2013, Montgomery County Schools in Maryland approved a pilot program for 5 non verbal boys with autism. After a full year of meetings and intense advocating on behalf of the parents, the "Real Boys" entered general education classes with a 1:1 aide to help them facilitate communication through typing. All 5 have succeeded and flourished in mainstream classes. By presuming their competence, Montgomery County has forever changed the course of these boys lives.
Jack Allnutt is one of the Real Boys. He is 13 years old and started typing to communicate in November 2012 after being "locked in his silent prison" for 10 years. Since being mainstreamed, Jack has made Honor Roll every semester.
By Jack Allnutt
I came casted as a mute farther behind everyone in worldly directions.
Answering eagerly to fast calculus problems that were in my head yet, just seated tiresomely for hours reviewing simple numbers. Rewarded with labeled autistic behavior. How would autism always permanently determine learning when limitless populations of teachers don’t realize our great capacity for knowledge? I peered into windows around school and saw my schoolmates learning history and math and science. I hoped real education would find a place for me one day answering my prayers.
Having real classroom learning isn’t foreign to me and the Real Boys anymore. Now I attend Lakelands Middle School and I’m dealing quite well. Teach subjects I never thought I would know and excelling. Can’t claim all autistics can type but it has left me free from my apparently silent autism prison. Am too happy people see me as intelligent.