Gordy Baylinson was d
iagnosed as a non-speaking autistic when he was only 17 months old. His parents assumed that he couldn't understand anything they said. After all, he had neither spoken a single word nor expressed any emotions - tell-tale signs of autism
! They openly discussed their worries about his future in his presence, never once stopping to think that he might understand their conversation. Then Gordy proved that he was able to understand everything that was being said.
Last year, one of his therapists, Meghann Parkinson, had started teaching him a new communication technique for autistics called the Rapid Prompting Method. She would ask him questions, and Gordy would answer them by pointing to letters on an alphabet board in front of him. Soon, Gordy began to use a QWERTY keyboard on an iPad. He learned to type by himself, entering a letter one at a time with his right index finger.
A few weeks before Gordy learned to type, the Baylinsons saw an announcement for an 'Autism Night Out' held by the Montgomery County Police Department. They asked Gordy to choose between attending the police event and a school event. Surprisingly, Gordy chose the former. The notice mentioned the email address of the officer who organised the event, and Parkinson asked him if he’d like to send her a letter. Gordy's parents were stunned to see how well he could express himself when he wrote this moving letter explaining his struggles, hopes and strengths. Reading this letter has not only blown our mind, it has also blown away false notions about how autistic kids lack intelligence and understanding!Source: kveller
Over time, we have all heard too many tragic stories of mistreatment and mishandling of autistics due to lack of knowledge. Some kids are lucky to meet therapists who see their potential and help them get their voice heard; some aren't. As for Gordy, his parents are now aware their son understands what they're saying. They've started reading Harry Potter to him. They are even encouraging him to pursue his dream of becoming a researcher for Time magazine. Dreams do come true after all, but for them to come true, you first need to see them!His father proudly says, “The sky's the limit for him now. I believe he can do whatever he wants.”
We agree. Thank you Gordy for writing this letter. It is a strong reminder that people with autism have the same needs, wants, feelings and hopes as everybody else. Even with all their limitations, they are certainly intelligent and not to be underestimated. Medical science and child psychologists have now come together to help parents deal with autism
. At the end of the day, the love and affection of our parents, combined with their undeterred confidence in us, is all we need to keep going in life, right?Cover Image Via The Washington Post