"All people with autism are smart and deserve respect even if they cannot communicate." Charles Mury
Many individuals with autism are using a letterboard to communicate with heart swelling success. This story from Australia profiles the meteoric success of using a keyboard for a young man who was "assumed" to have the intellect of a Kindergartener. The professionals in Speech, Occupation Therapy and Behavior could be doing so much more - work that would change the course of a life. We MUST press schools to presume competence. Charles is quoted: All people with autism are smart and deserve respect even if they cannot communicate". Parents can not do everything. We are only human. But we never give up. Congratulations to Charles Mury and his diligent Mom.
A New South Wales student who was once unable to communicate has earned a prestigious education award.
Charles Mury was among an elite group of 40 selected to receive a minister's award for excellence, open to students across the state's public education system.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said Charles was the first ever recipient on the autism spectrum.
He was diagnosed with autism before he turned three and years of therapy followed.
At 16, Charles he was regarded as having the academic ability of a kindergarten student.
"The level of communication was highly limited, only some gestures of what he wanted and what he needed," father Chris Mury said.
Charles' mother, Melanie, said process had been "glacial" before her son had a breakthrough 18 months ago, which experts said was triggered by the emotion of his grandmother's funeral.
"We had a very long meltdown and in desperation I said to him 'help us help you'," Melanie said.
"(I gave him) pen, paper, and we had our very first conversation."
From that point on, Charles' words and ideas have flowed and flourished, with the help of his teachers at Metford's Hunter River Community School.
Now at the age of 18, Charles has finally found his voice with the help of a computer.
"Communication has changed my life for the best. It has saved my life," he told NBN News.
"All people with autism are smart and deserve respect even if they cannot communicate."