“What am I going to be if my autism can’t be cured?” As a small child, Naoki was very afraid that, because of his autism, he would never be able to live properly and do many of the things that other people do. He felt the need to apologize for his actions day in and day out. His goal for writing this book was to help people understand the obstacles that people with autism face, and that they are not the result of selfishness and ego. Through sharing with the world his thoughts on what it’s like to live with autism, he wants to give hope to other people with autism, making it easier for them to “stick at it”. Maybe then, he says, the future of people with autism will be connected with that of everyone else. By this I think he means that people with autism have the same goal of achieving happiness, just like everyone else.
I was surprised when Naoki said that the things people with autism do are not because of selfishness and ego, as I’ve never thought this about my students with autism. Also, I thought how sad it is for a little kid who feels like he has to apologize for himself day in and day out! I wonder how many of my students feel the same way. Overall I enjoyed reading about his insights on living as a person with autism. Even though each person with autism is unique (which can be said about humans as a whole), Naoki’s specific experiences with autism have helped me to understand my students a little more.
–Allison Dobbs, SLP at Moore Traditional