In a separate lesson this week James was asked to think about how the Reverend Martin Luther King used words and images to change the world. They watched the powerful images of Dr. King addressing the massive crowd on the National Mall and giving his “I Have a Dream” speech. James was asked to imagine that he was a film consultant making a film about RPM. He is supposed to interview people for the project and tell the story of RPM. This is what he wrote.
I WOULD LOVE TO CREATE A DOCUMENTARY ON COMMUNICATION USING RPM. I WOULD GATHER INFORMATION USING SURVEYS. I WOULD SURVEY ALL PEOPLE WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THE RPM COMMUNITY. THIS WOULD INCLUDE NONSPEAKING PEOPLE WITH AUTISM, PARENTS AND FAMILY MEMBERS, TEACHERS OF RPM, AND OF COURSE SOMA. I WOULD ASK ABOUT HOW THEY PERCEIVE PEOPLE WITH AUTISM. HUGE AMOUNT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR BELIEFS REGARDING THE BEST WAY TO EDUCATE PEOPLE WITH AUTISM. THEN I WOULD GO THROUGH ALL THE RESPONSES AND FIND THE COMMON THEMES. I WOULD TAKE THESE THEMES AND RUN WITH THEM. I WOULD MATCH THE THEMES TO FACES OF PEOPLE WITH AUTISM. I WOULD ARRANGE THESE IMAGES IN A COLLAGE AND PUT THE COLLAGE ON HUGE BILLBOARDS IN EVERY MAJOR CITY IN THE WORLD. UNLESS WE ACCEPT PEOPLE WITH AUTISM NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE IN THE AUTISM AND EDUCATION COMMUNITIES.
What themes do you expect to find in your work? I EXPECT TO FIND THAT VERY FEW EDUCATORS BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE WITH AUTISM ARE SMART. I EXPECT TO FIND THAT PARENTS ARE CAUTIOUS. I EXPECT TO FIND THE RPM TEACHERS ARE ENTHUSIASTIC AND OPTIMISTIC. I EXPECT THE PEOPLE WITH AUTISM TO BE ECSTATIC TO FINALLY HAVE A WAY TO COMMUNICATE.
You are a rock star. I love reading your thoughts. You are right. Many “experts” in the field of autism know in fact, very little about the intelligence of people with autism. In your lifetime I hope this changes because of kids like you. Xo
Thanks Amy! We miss seeing you and Jack, hopefully summer will bring some visits!