5/23 - Latest in Autism News


After 14 Years, Nonverbal Teenager Makes His Feelings About His Autism Known

A nonspeaking 16-year old boy with autism has finally communicated his thoughts through typing a letter.

A nonverbal teenaged boy with autism, whom his parents thought could not understand his surroundings, has dispelled such thoughts with a profound letter. For fourteen years, he had not spoken or made his emotions known.

Gordy Baylinson, 16, recently wrote a letter to Laurie Reyes, a police officer in charge of the Autism Safety Fair for Montgomery County. He called his and others who had autism's daily lives as "a daily game, except not fun, of tug-of-war." Baylinson's father posted the letter and the response from Reyes on Facebook.

Baylinson was able to write a 400-word letter after two one-hour sessions without being coached on what to say. He wrote it all on keyboard using his right index finger, Independent reported.

Meghan Robinson, Baylinson's autism therapist, has been teaching him Rapid Prompting Method, which was made for people with severe autism. From an alphabet board, Baylinson is now using a QWERTY keyboard and an iPad.

"My brain, which is much like yours, knows what it wants and how to make that clear. My body, which is much like a drunken, almost six foot toddler, resists," said Baylinson. Baylinson then named some signs of nonspeaking autism to help police officers identify people who had the same condition as him.

Reyes was able to read the letter and said that she loved reading it. People reported that Reyes had invited Baylinson to a training session for police offers on dealing with individuals with autism in December.

Teenager's Parents Surprised

Baylinson's parents have seen him in a new light. "We had no clue. Every time we would read it, we'd just be like, 'Oh my God. This child was nonspeaking and everyone thought he couldn't do anything. And here he is writing this eloquent, even funny letter, with such empathy," Baylinson's father Evan said via Today.

His letter, according to Baylinson, is not one asking for pity. "I love myself just the way I am, drunken toddler body and all. This letter is, however, a cry for attention, recognition and acceptance," said Baylinson.

What do you think about Gordy's letter?   Please share your thoughts at questions@autismradio.org.

By Elizabeth Anderson,    Parent Herald | May 23, 4:55 AM