Over the past few weeks, I have seen this video around Facebook, but not until an old friend recommended it to me did I finally take the time to watch it. This video is around ten minutes long and features the remarkable development of a moderately autistic girl named Carly. I was completely astounded by what this teenage girl could accomplish through her words. It is far more significant than anything I have ever done. She had been locked inside her head for her entire life, unable to control her body, responsive to the painful sensations that dictated her life. So called "professionals" dismissed her as "mentally retarded" based on what they could see. To take a quote from the film "Polar Express:"
"Sometimes the things that are most real are the things we can't see..."
As a member of the spectrum, I absolutely HATE it when people take me at face value. I may not be the most attractive person, I may not always show that I am listening, I may make faces when people look at me (there are some people who mock the expressions I make when I avoid sudden eye contact), but this is who I am. Even so, this is nothing compared to what Carly has gone through. I see the world through the eyes of one with autism, but I can also function at times without anyone suspecting that I am different.
It is all dictated by sensations. I am not the best speaker. At times, I am hard pressed to convince myself how articulate I really am with words when faced with an embarrassing situation. On the other hand, Carly has lived her life unable to communicate whereas I experience difficulties at times. We both want to help people to understand us. All she wants is to be normal and all I want is for others to understand people like us. We didn't ask for this. This is the hand that we were dealt, and we have to work with what we were given. We who have autism are gifted people who, at times, are trapped in our own bodies. Not a day has gone by when I didn't wish a sensory overload upon someone who doesn't understand. I would rather be viewed by what I have to offer rather than what I appear to be on the surface. Every individual on the spectrum, whether we have severe autism, mild autism, or Aspergers Syndrome feels the same way. I am convinced of that.
To view Carly's story, click the following link: