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What is autism? Is it a long list of behaviors, or is it more? Experts looked at my outside deficits—eye contact impairment, hand flapping and social delay–and concluded that my inside was equally impaired. They assumed I did not understand language, recognize my parents or have a thought more advanced than a toddler’s. They supposed my brain could be molded in increments by drilling me on names and basic nouns, or by telling me to jump, or sit, or touch my nose—over and over. This was the educational model I grew up with. Now, I am telling you what I couldn’t tell my experts when I was stuck in my silent prison for so many years: you were wrong. Worse, you were treating the wrong symptoms.
In my essays I explain autism from the inside out. It is my dream that my book will help my friends and so many other non-verbal autistic people to be liberated, as I was. I want a cure and I want communication now for all those still trapped in silence. Thank you for listening to a silent boy no more.
— Ido Kedar, at age 13