Susan's Blog

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Young Autistic Man Who COULD

Number One: People grow and develop. Education works. Sticking by someone and believing in him works.

Number Two: Disabled does not mean “can’t.” It means “I possibly can, with the right supports. Give me a chance.”

I have a lot to be grateful for. 1) Nat’s tremendous growth and ability to learn; 2) Nat’s wonderful independent living skills education at the May Institute; 3) Nat’s amazing loving caregiver who lives with him in their small apartment in Boston nearby; 4) Nat’s tremendous growth and ability to learn. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Especially given the concern and worry I devoted towards Nat’s self care skills. I despaired that he’d ever learn how to even make his own breakfast, as you can read here in this 2004 New York Times article I wrote for their Education Life section.

Read the piece, and then play this video, taken this morning by his caregiver John. John merely said to Nat, “What do you want for breakfast?” while sitting on the couch, not even in the kitchen. And then Nat went ahead, as you can see. NO PROMPTS.

And now say to yourself, “With autism, never say ‘never.’ With any human being, never say ‘never.'” If any professional every tells you “He will never be able to …” you might consider walking right out of that office, and directing them to this blog post and the video below:

NAT making breakfast with NO prompts, 1/28/15


Look how focused he is! He’s so much like my son, Paul. How wonderful!

— added by Susan Anderson on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 12:12 pm

This video looks like a young man making himself something to eat. Nothing at all special about it. That’s what makes it so special.

— added by Lisa C on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 12:40 pm

There are moments in our loved ones lives when they do things that bring us an almost undescribable joy as we see them achieve things on there own. I’m thinking this might be one of those for you. Way to go Nat! You are the man.

— added by Rowena Beatty on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 6:03 pm

Go Nat!!!! Thank you for sharing this video.

— added by Suzette on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Susan, this is completely awesome to watch. It truly gives me hope that Justin will learn more skills before he lives independently of us. Thanks for sharing this!

— added by kim mccafferty on Monday, February 2, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Thank you for sharing that wonderful video!!! Nat is a man who knows what he wants, and knows how to get it!!

— added by Lisa Richardson on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 3:10 pm