I love movement in general. Not in the traditional sense but in a relative sense of the term. For example, moving my hands in front of my eyes is considered as movement in my classification. I find a lot of joy in movement. It grounds me to experience other joys of life. It helps me see the world in unique and different ways. 

Many times, light might seem mostly dark when I am not moving. Images and perceptions become clearer and sharper on the move. I sometimes experience joyful hallucinations with a spectacular array of lights. Other times, rapidly lose focus of objects that were clear moments ago. 

My body freezes with loud sounds or when I have crippling anxiety about a task that needs me to do something uncomfortable. I struggle to initiate movement when I freeze and need love, patience and very intentional motor coaching to get out of it.

Put simply, my movement journey through life looks less like that of a perfect sprinter but more like the mighty pursuit of a turtle that does not want to get hit by car while crossing the road, may not be linear but is the essential survival mechanism.

Swarit Gopalan

About the Author

I am an 11-yr old autistic, nonspeaker that uses letterboard to spell/keyboard to type to communicate.I live with my family in Florida and go to Invictus Academy for school. 
I find a lot of solace in expressing myself through poetry. Music and nature also help me stay in the present, there is nothing better for me than to have my movement create a symphony with nature and to truly enjoy the sights and sounds. Living in harmony with nature is my life’s mission.
Right from the time of diagnosis, we are only told about all things we cannot or will not be able to do. Along with the check that is written to the doctor for the diagnosis, it often feels like our agency is written off too, especially without a reliable communication mechanism.  
Time to change the paradigm with more non speaker voices. It has always been a dream to share my thoughts and perspectives with the world so that I can be one of the catalysts to creating a better understanding of non speakers in general. 
My hope is that my words will help change the world from sympathy and pity for those like me to one of deeper understanding of our lives and allyship to ensure our rights.

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