By Coby Khodosh
Coby Khodosh an 8 year old boy with autism and apraxia who has been learning and communicating with RPM since he turned 6 years old. Coby describes himself as AUTISTIC AND ARTISTIC and he wants the world to see the non-speaking and minimally-verbal autistic people as the FORCE OF CHANGE AND ENERGY WHICH IS LOVE. Coby resides with his little sister and family in Northbrook, IL. He is a 2nd grader at Countryside Montessori School where he is fully included and is the only student with an alternative communication support. Coby and family will be relocating to the San Francisco Bay area this summer.
My name is Coby and my handsome self is 8 years old. I am autistic. I wanted to write this to maybe give some insight into my experience. Most of the time my autism makes it arduous to speak or make meaningful conversation so I rely on RPM to organize my mind and get my thoughts out one letter at a time. People see me spelling my real thoughts and really can’t make sense, why doesn't he just speak. Believe me people so wish I could. My autism sometimes makes it hard to even enjoy things I love and prevents me from showing my gentle nature. My body is unpredictable and so my impulses get in a way of simple pleasures like sitting through a movie or finishing building a Lego structure on my own without getting sidetracked. I truly try to connect to people but all they can see is a disconnected uninterested exterior and lack of eye contact. Getting anxious and getting bombarded by sensations and my own overwhelming loud thoughts feels like a war zone sometimes. Seeing wonderful colors and experiencing the world through my synesthesia can be a distracting and relentless nuisance. Always figuring what to pay attention to and what to ignore leaves me trailing and confused. Autism can wear on you. It is always gruesomely difficult for my body to remain in my control. Like so wish I could relax like you normals, I can do without the people frequently reminding me I am too loud or too hyper. I also see it is just as strange to you normals to be affected by my autism as it is strange for me to try to fit in into your sensory frightening pressure cooker world. My family is in this with me truly everyday, we are like a tribe of outsiders not fitting in as easily. We do things like other families seemingly but autism like uninvited friend can take up energy and space and we have to deal with it. Wherever I go I am at its will so pressuring myself to fit in doesn’t work. I am this way for a reason, I know this in my heart and mean to find that reason someday. God loves me and He sees my faith and goodness. Despair and rhetorical questions haven’t helped so far so I choose to see something within myself that is lovable and seriously phenomenal. Truly like to write poetry and dare I say I am pretty good at it. I heavily always make an effort to be pleasant when people are patient with my spelling. I seriously care about people and animals because if I can’t show it at least I can radiate a loving energy and the world truly needs more love. Maybe a lot can be learned from people like me. Maybe thinking differently about what it means to be more human. Maybe laughing at others and calling someone a dreadful and offensive word means more about your limitations and my autism just exposes that cruel side in you. Seeing me for my abilities can definitely help you see the hidden potential in millions of others with disabilities. Me depending on your help can teach you grace and patience and give you a lesson on your own dependability as a person. Have an open mind and heart and you might just make a true friend for life.