Sunday, April 29, 2018

My Amazing Trip to Britain

By Lawson Barnes

My name is Lawson Barnes and I am 12 years old. I live in Fayetteville, Arkansas with my mom Leslie and my dad Brant. I learned RPM about four years ago. My life has changed drastically since not having a way to communicate. 

As I write this, I am on a six week trip through Britain. I chose to study Britain a year ago, and now I am seeing and experiencing all the places I have studied. I want to be a writer, and what better place to embark on that journey? The past two weeks have made a lifelong impression. If you love Dickens, take in the breeze and sea view from Bleak House. If Tolkien is your inspiration, stroll the lively streets of Oxford. Today I traveled the River Wye from Tintern Abbey across the Brecon Beacons where Wordsworth found glorious scenes that he translated into words.

Autism gives me the challenge to live in a typical human’s world, but it also gives me the ability to breathe in the smell of a rainbow as I feel the energy of my heart connect with the power pouring out of an ancient circle of stones. So next time you see an autistic like me, maybe know that pity is not the emotion you should feel.


  1. Wow! Just wow! I'm crying and inspired at the same time. Lawson, I am a retired teacher. I taught 3rd and 4th grades for 35 years. I was very Blessed to have taught several young children who had autism. I know that I learned more from having each of these special young people under my direction for 9 months.
    Again, each of them inspired me to learn as much as I possibly could about Autism. Each person has special gifts. Each is extremely intelligent. It was my challenge to teach to their individual learning style.
    You are already a very talented writer!!!!
    I certainly hope that I get the opportunity to meet you in person some day!
    I would LOVE to keep reading your writings.
    You just made my day!!!
    Oh, and your dad and my son, Brennan went to school together in Mtn Home. You'll have to ask your dad to let you watch the old video of their Senior class play. It's quite enjoyable!!!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. All too important is teaching to a student's individual learning style. Once my mom figured out how to teach me there has been no stopping us. Anytime there is difficulty she knows I can learn so she finds a way to teach. Having your mom for a teacher ensures a tendency to persevere no matter the obstacle. An education holds the key to my future and I hope the day is soon that all autistics are deemed worthy of this right.

  2. Hi Lawson, My name is Andrea and I’m a childhood friend of your dad’s. What an amazing trip you are on. I look forward to the day I can make it to Britain...and I will for sure take your recommendations and see these spots and really enjoy the view and take it all in! You are doing amazing things, keep it up and never give up on your dreams sweet boy.

  3. Thank you Lawson. I hope you had a great trip. But I think you did because you sound like you are going to have a great time wherever you go.

  4. I am very proud of you. We love you very much.

  5. How many writers in this world can write as eloquently as you? Your words transported me back through time. What a talented individual you are! I think you know my sister Christa Tullis.

  6. Hi, Lawson! I'm professor Susan Tonymon and I teach in the School of Social Work at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. I live in Fayetteville and learned about your exciting trip travelling through Britain from your dad, who I met at the grocery store. (When you get home to Fayetteville, you'll have to ask your dad about his opinion on take out pizza from Whole Foods!) He shared the link to your post so I could read about your trip. I am very interested in learning more from you or your mom/dad about RPM and how learning it has helped you. Professors like me teach and train social work students new ways to help people with all kinds of different abilities. Thanks for posting! Have a great trip and a safe return! - Susan Tonymon