Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Someone shared the above video on facebook, and I knew I just had to post it here. You should watch it (it's a mere ten minutes) but I'll try to sum up what it says.
It's about an autistic girl who was unable to communicate for eleven years of her life, and who was believed to almost certainly be mentally retarded. Then when she was eleven someone set her down at a computer; she typed "hurt" and "help." Realize, no one had taught her how to write. But she typed those words out. And that was just the beginning.
She turned out to be very intelligent -- and her father said that they were "horrified" because they used to talk about her, right in front of her. I don't think they do that any more.
Now, through the computer, she is able to express herself, and even open up a little window as to why autistic people behave the way they do. To paraphrase her very briefly, she says that they have sensory overload and that their wild antics (waving their arms around, etc.) is their way of dealing with it. And it's not something they can control, either. Carley says that if she could stop, she would. But she can't.
I guess that the moral of the story (to which there is more than I have written) is that just because someone is different doesn't mean you should write them off as being stupid. Because Carley definitely isn't.