Maybe I can write a poem to say now the joy and yes terror in my heart for my posting today..
On my birthday,
I say happy birthday to my cake.
On my mother's birthday, I say happy birthday to her face.
On my father's birthday I say happy birthday to his eyes.
On my birthday I sing.
In May I will graduate from my most wonderful school. I will earn a real diploma. A college preparatory diploma. I will attend the local community college here. I took the placement tests. It was terrifying. I had not the ability to communicate in my most comfortable manner. I sat and with my determination to successfully show that I would attend, I completed the test in days of 1hr blocks.
A young autistic non-speaking , more -speaking, woman has been prepared for enrollment in the summer term. I will begin with online courses as I transition from my loving inclusive school. I had to learn how to sit through classes. I never went in a class before this school where I had homework and tests and read books that were not for children. I had to learn that Robinson Crusoe wasn't really stranded. I never had an English class that defined literature terms. My mom has been my ambulator. That is the term I use for when she supports me in typing. My first year of talking with my hand, that's what I call this, mrs. Nikki was my teacher. I think she helped me learn that I was smart. Before then, I just couldn't communicate in a way people understood. I don't blame people for trying their ways. I hope they understand now that it just didn't work. Sometimes people talk differently. It doesn't mean the language isn't real.
Mrs. Nikki got sick and my most wonderful principal asked mom to take over. She said I was very capable. She said she believed in me. She said I needed lots of help learning how to follow classroom rules. If I could, I should come to classes. I learned most wonderful things. How you must take turns speaking. I learned people thought I have a good comedic flair. I learned people are really nice to me when I tell them I am scared. I learned i didn't needed to worry about my person as much when people knew I was misunderstanding. I learned I am nice and do understand other peoples feelings. I just can't respond in some ways like my classmates. I know I am disabled but I am thinking my voice is not the disability.
I am like a young woman with a mind that independently wants to focus on many things simultaneously and can't decide how or which to do first. I believe that my brain is loaded in all ways of potential intelligible activity and actions to perform functions like thought, speak, hear, feel and more all simultaneously. how and which is most important? I am learning now but I still need help. I decide on times perhaps less important to goals I have. other times I need assistance to focus myself. it is a new concept for me. I have real independent decisions I make. never before did I know I could be pushed to answer but say no when I want. I am no longer a passive student in school. I actively participate in my education. I have curriculum and teachers and assignments. however, I am able to ask questions now. education is not my teacher's decision only, I participate.
The reason I am writing today is I have decided to rename this blog. In anticipation of my graduation and matriculation to college, the new name for this blog will be: Emma's Adventures in College. We will invite you all to my site when mom and I figure all the details out..
I would like, however, to thank some special people. Mrs .Kathy and Mrs. Dorothy, I will love you always. My friend Doris, Jonathan, Dina and my English classmates, Mrs. Diane and John, Phyllis, Kristin, Mr. Chip and my Lowes team members, Dr. W. and Davica, my friend Mike, Rabbi and Barbara, Kathy, Rick, Nick and Steele, Sue and Bennett, Stacy and Della, and Renee as well as my Temple family I love you very much.
I need to say a special thank you to a few people who don't take compliments well. Dr. Kathy knew I was me in 5th grade. She was the woman that said I was more. Christine is why I talk. Angelique showed me how. I had a safe school for when I needed it, thank you Roberta and Laura. Jackie and Paula give me safety to learn. Lili is the sister I didn't have. Courtney is the sister I have now. Cousins David and Danny are my new best brothers, Cousin Rachel always knew me. Omi and all my California family as I love you with all my heart. I could not have learned to listen except from Dr. Diana and Pam.' I love you. Amy S., you were the first person I could talk to who was like me. I will never forget it. my cous Susan is a good friend and I love my uncle Philip. My life would not be what it is now without Coach z and PP. I look forward to our phone calls daily. I can only thank my mom and dad and now big bro with his wife saying I am proud to say I am a part of this family.
I will end today by saying this: See you around the campus. I will. be the one wearing my college tee shirt..