Sunday, January 24, 2016

I Belong

I belong in this world like everyone else. I have not always felt welcome. For years I was excluded from regular education. Not learning things was practically like death to my mind. I withered away in my own head. I became placated by stims and low expectations. Life grew comfortably boring. I grew to believe my life would never improve. Meaningless would be my life. I can’t begin to tell you how heavy my sorrow was. I wanted to die and be free of this hell.

I am not in hell anymore. I escaped by Mom’s help. Mom learned RPM (Rapid Prompting Method). She made sure I learned many things like my siblings. Mom learned to teach me like Soma (the creator of RPM). She practiced until we got academics down. Then she made a meaningful leap to ask me to express myself. It was really hard at first. I had many meltdowns because it was so hard to make my thoughts come to the forefront of my mind, which was used to being numb. I felt overwhelmed with emotion. Sometimes it was extreme happiness. Sometimes it was extreme sadness for being so trapped in a disobedient body. I would often bang my head out of anger and frustration. Meaning to my meltdowns was lamenting my autism for making my life so difficult to fit in.

My life gets better every day. Making peace with my autism has made me happier. I get meaningful education at school. Partnering with my school, I have been able to make a good transition from my old life at a special school to my new life at public school. My teachers believe in me. They help me feel so welcome and like I belong there. I have taught my teachers and classmates about autism. Helping them understand autism puts me at ease. My life is more meaningful now. I have been able to progress more. Learning is interesting and challenging. I am always looking for the most learning. Last year I advocated for myself to go to regular classes at my IEP meeting. The committee listened to me. This year I am taking regular science and social studies. I love being in these classes. I am making friends too. My world is so much more welcoming now that they can understand me. Making a more understanding world is my goal. Peace be with you.


Philip among the top achievers at Christian Service Brigade


  1. Hi Philip,

    When I read your last post "I belong" I wish so much there was a way you could tell my son, who is about to turn six, to hang in there. We've just started RPM and it's really hard for him, as ultimately I KNOW he wants to talk, emotionally he is very angry, even though we see him spelling and having great success with RPM. We have him working more on literacy lessons with the RPM, but he has really no means for functional communication. He refuses to use his ipad app, or picture cards, or even his more gestural ways of communicating recently to tell us what he wants for the day to day. Instead, he's hitting, throwing things, trying to bite us, headbutting...I wonder if you have any advice for us and him. We feel as though we're finally on the right path but it's so hard to support him when he's so angry and clearly suffering. Thank you for any advice!


  2. Hi Joni, We have been on vacation this past week. I just read your comment to Philip and he will work on a response soon. Hang in there! It will get better! Lisa