I am RISHI JENA
I am 13 years old.
When people meet me, I hope they see a smart boy, kind and funny.
I mostly talk on a LETTERBOARD.
I learned to communicate using a Letterboard only a year back.
MOST OF MY LIFE I HAVE SILENT, JUST LISTENING TO EVERYONE TALK.
They talked about my disabilities.
Meanwhile I learned to listen and store information in my head.
I was storing information to communicate later on.
When I was younger, I tried to talk but the words did not come out. Now I am able to express myself by spelling.
Other children could talk and I always felt left out. Now I have friends like JP and Allen that I can communicate with.
In middle school, pretty girls post messages to handsome boys. I wish they would send me some messages so I can respond back on the Letterboard.
I WAS GETTING MOSTLY KINDERGARTEN LEVEL EDUCATION AT SCHOOL.
My mother started to teach me 6th grade level education at home last year.
I went to see Dr. Perleberg in April. She tested me and said I was very smart. After that my parents fought for a decent education for me.
Now I am getting a 6th grade level education in the middle school. A good education will help me to succeed in life.
I WOULD LIKE TO BE AN ENGINEER
I like Math and Science the most. Engineers plan better products to help people. I want to design a non-speaking kid’s application to talk.
My application would be called “THE TALKING LETTERBOARD”.
I LIKE PIANO AS WELL
Spelling on the Letterboard has helped me to find notes on the piano.
I am now in a chorus group at middle school. I love listening to the beautiful music every day. I would like to write music and songs to wish people on their birthdays and make them happy.
I ENJOY SWIMMING
Mrs Snape, my swim teacher said that I can swim like a fish by next summer. Lots of exercise is needed daily to keep my body organized and calm. I am also in a PE group in middle school. I play volleyball and basketball with friends. Sometimes, if my hands are rowdy, then I play with the coach.
I LOVE THE BEACH
My time at the beach is very precious to relax. No parents are nicer than mine since they take me to the beach many times in the year. Most people go to the beach to swim. I go to the beach to watch people and learn about their habits. Not all is fun at the beach. Hard work is part of the life.
MY FRIENDS AT THE BEACH WORK HARD CLEANING, WHILE OTHERS ENJOY. I also work hard to be successful in life.
I STILL HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME CONTROLLING MY HANDS.
My body feels out of control a lot and it is very uncomfortable. I have so many impulsive surges of energy and it is painful to experience discomfort.
I am working on core strength and purposeful motor planning to make my body stronger and control hands better. I hope to avoid any attention seeking behaviors by keeping my body posture and core strength foremost on my list of improvements.
I FELT SAD FOR MANY YEARS…..
A lot of emotions, rather hate was building up inside me.
I was ashamed of my shortcomings.
I was sad to be left out of many experiences
I believe that a lot of hard things can bring about important change for the future.
Now I can talk by spelling definite thoughts.
I am now being included in certain situations.
I think now that I can convert the Letterboard communication to talking words and sentences. Words are flowing much easier for the last 4 months.
I am also trying to find the letters to type on the keyboard.
I think I can talk faster than typing on the keyboard.
BE PATIENT AND KIND AND THINGS WILL CHANGE.
MY MOTHER INSPIRED ME TO REACH FOR HIGHER GOALS IN LIFE.
Nothing stops her from fighting for a good education for me.
More people should be like my mother.
Her style is interesting.
My mother is beautiful because she never complains about her son to anyone.
I AM SHOWERED WITH LOVE FROM BOTH PARENTS FOR WHICH I AM VERY GRATEFUL
I love people who are respectful and who smile at me. I have made a lot of friends at Whole Foods, Target, Temple, Library and the Beach.
FRIENDS KEEP ME HAPPY AND MOTIVATED TO KEEP ME GOING FORWARD.
I want to thank Miss Jess for her incredible hard work in teaching me to spell on the Letterboard
Miss Anthonette, my nanny, has helped me a lot to practice skills daily and master them.
I WANT TO BE AN ADVOCATE FOR ALL NON-VERBAL AUTISTIC CHILDREN NEEDING A GOOD EDUCATION.
DON’T DISMISS KIDS AS NOT BEING INTELLIGENT JUST BECAUSE THEY CANNOT TALK.
Non verbal kids have a lot of talents and need an opportunity to express themselves just like regular kids.
IF I WERE A PLANET, MY PLANET WOULD RADIATE THE COLOR OF BLUE IN GREAT HONOR OF THE AUTISTICS SOULS.
OTHER PLANETS WOULD SHINE ALL THEIR BRIGHTNESS ON MY PLANET TO HELP KEEP IT HAPPY.
“LOVE AND SUPPORT CAN CHANGE ANYONE’S LIFE STORY”.