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.