I am reading I am intelligent by Peyton Goddard and Dianne Goddard with Carol Cujec. I am not finished yet. It is a powerful, beautifully written tale of triumph about Peyton who was denigrated, undermined, diagnosed as “mentally retarded” believed to be incompetent then learned to communicate through a facilitator as a young adult and proved everyone wrong. Peyton’s story is shocking, heartbreaking and revelatory. Her mother writes with a poetic beauty about her own evolution as she worked to help her daughter, refusing the labels being applied and yet allowing that they seep into our thinking unbidden despite our rejections of them. I have been unable to think of little else.
As I read Peyton’s and her mother’s words I finally understood why so many object to the labels of “high,” “low,” “moderate” when describing an Autistic person. This is a concept I thought I understood, I certainly…
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