(13% indicates location in the Kindle version of the book, instead of page numbers.)
Excerpts from Forward by Rebecca Miller –
13% Hello. I’m Max’s mom. I want to thank you for purchasing his book and sharing it with others. My twelve-year-old son Max came up with the idea of sharing his story in order to help other kids who are on the autism spectrum.
This book is the result of an art show that Max put together. His drawings and essays were displayed, primarily to educate people on how different his experience is compared to kids who are “neurotypical.” His art show was very well-received and he wanted to take his message to a larger audience. The result is this book.
< My Thoughts > “The result is this book.”
When you purchase your copy of Max’s book, you will be delighted to read all the words beyond my excerpts and to see his wonderful drawings. Max’s mom also has more to say at the end of their book. Enjoy!
End of excerpts from Forward by Rebecca Miller –
Excerpts from Max’s book – With < My Thoughts, by Sara Luker >
38% Max is a high-functioning autistic and was non-verbal until the age of six. He has been subject of segregation and prejudice since he was quite young. Max was denied educational and social opportunities due to his diagnosis.
After several rejections, we finally found an autism program. The interventions worked. Max is now in a regular classroom with his peers but still feels separate. He is aware of his autism but considers it a label versus a definition.
< My Thoughts > “…label versus a definition.”
Intervention works and inclusion works, but often a high-functioning child still feels ‘separate.’
39% His art reflects his view of his identity. He is able to be his own person and defy his labeling. He is not just an autistic. He is an 11 year old boy, a blend of his entire family and his life experiences.
Max said, “I am not autism. I am ME.”
End of excerpts from forward by Rebecca Miller.
( Max writes…)
42% There is a theory that my autism was caused by my getting these shots. That’s not true. God made me autistic. The shots didn’t make me autistic.
44% God sat there and asked the angels who should have autism and they chose me. The angels said I should have autism so I can make a difference in this world.
I am doing this through my drawing and writing. I want to explain how autistic kids might feel in ordinary situations.
You can’t see in my head. I’m lucky because I can talk but the words get stuck. Drawing helps me get the words out.
< My Thoughts > “the words get stuck”
When Max says the words get stuck… takes me back to what a neurologist first told us about Sonny. “It’s difficult to know just how much he really understands or is capable of learning. So, your job is finding a way to get as much information “in” and as much information “out” as you can,” she suggested.
Aside from the fact that Sonny is non-verbal, and we were told he would never learn anything, this seemed like a daunting task. Although the part of his brain dealing with language has never developed, he has communicated with primitive ‘signing’, by dragging us to what he wants, and by using his eyes to stare at objects he wants, or to indicate directions he wants us to go in. Over the years, we have found that he is capable of learning and functioning to a higher level than anyone would have first guessed.
45% I want to be a voice for every single child who has autism and who cannot speak. The kids who can’t speak are just like me. We are not like everyone else.
We can’t see other people’s feelings or do well in school or pay attention. Just because we can’t be like everyone else doesn’t mean we don’t matter. We do matter.
All we need is a little compassion.