According to the latest CDC report, 1 in 68 children have some form of autism. April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, and today we post, with permission, a speech that a 15-year-old friend of mine with autism gave to his classmates when school started last year.
Good morning everybody. Today, I wanted to talk to you about Autism. I have Autism. Don’t worry, it’s not something you can catch from me… it’s not a like a virus or anything like that. When I was very young, a doctor diagnosed me with Autism. My parents took me to the doctor because I didn’t talk much – I talked a lot less than kids were supposed to. Actually, I still talk a lot less than other kids.
A lot of people think things about Autism that just aren’t true. They really shouldn’t because everybody is different and has different things they do well. Actually, I am pretty smart. So are a lot of my friends with Autism. I just have a hard time with words. So reading, writing, and speaking are kind of hard, but I’m very good at math, science and stuff like that.
Every person with Autism has different things that they do well and other things that they have trouble with. For me, like I said, I have a hard time with words, I have a hard time remembering people’s names, and sometimes, I may have trouble knowing if someone is joking with me. You may see me walking around by myself – sometimes I pace back and forth when I’m thinking. I also sometimes flap my hands when I get excited or frustrated. So, if you see me doing that, just come over and say “Hey, Rob!” or something like that to me. That usually helps me stop right away. It may look funny, but really everybody does this a little bit. Other people may jump up and down when they are excited or clench up when they get angry. Unfortunately, I flap. But don’t worry, I’m OK.
Other than that stuff, I am just like everybody else. I really like movies and music. I go to concerts all the time… the next concert I’m going to is Bruno Mars. By the way, if anyone likes Bruno Mars, let me know – my sister doesn’t want to go… so we have a free ticket!
That’s really all I have to say. Just remember that you shouldn’t judge anyone without getting to know him or her. I’m just a normal kid that happens to have Autism. I don’t mind if you don’t mind.
Thanks for letting me tell you about myself. Does anyone have any questions?
2014 Two Peds in a Pod®