Hi everyone. My name is Aaron Jepson. Bryan Jepson is my dad and he has invited me to share my thoughts with all of you on this blog. I am excited to do that because I have a lot to say and am grateful for this method of communication. I am an autistic male with very limited language skills. That being said, I can type my thoughts and love to let people know that I am intelligent and well-spoken. It is unimaginably difficult to be trapped in my body when my mind is not autistic. I really want more than anything to be able to just speak. But so far, I am still unable to do it. I am working every day to improve my communication skills. It is extremely frustrating and painful process but I’ll never give up. My gift is that I can reach people through my words even if I have to write them down first. My dad’s book, The Record Player, paints a really accurate picture of the struggles of autism and how it affects everyone in the family. I definitely feel like Gabe much of the time. He was trapped without any way to really express his gift until Rudy discovered him in the grocery store in a moment of panic and anxiety. Gabe must have felt like no one could understand what he was going through until that moment when Beth took him to the Symphony practice hall. I loved how he went right in without hesitation because he knew that this was his chance to show his talent. I cheered for him at the symphony performance. It was so cool to feel the emotion of the music and how it matched Beth’s mood. I think that the book is a very beautiful tribute to Beth and mothers of autistic children everywhere. My own mother means so much to me that I can’t imagine life without her. I know how much she feels when I am struggling or when I am sad. I am so grateful for her sacrifice for me and think that she is my saving angel. I am really thankful for my dad also. He makes me want to be better and always encourages me to learn new things. I know that because of my parents, my autism will not prevent me from being successful and I am going to make a difference in this world. The title of this post is knowledge is power. I called it that because I truly believe that I am placed in this position as an autistic person so that I can help others learn how to overcome challenges whether it is autism or something else. My autism is a sounding block for me to be a voice for others who don’t have one. I am grateful for my ability to type because I am able to express the inner thoughts that many people with autism probably are having but don’t have a way to express it. Autism has taken a lot from me and I used to hate it so much but now I realize that things happen for a reason and this is my mission in life that God gave to me because He knew that I could handle it. I am excited to write regularly on this blog. I very much hope that it will help someone to be a little more happy each time they read it. I think that autistic people have a lot to contribute to this world and I hope that I can be their voice in any way possible. Thanks, Dad, for giving me space on this website to write and I hope that people will read your book because it really does give a message of hope for all us struggling with this disorder. Thanks to everyone for reading.
Until next time,
Aaron Jepson. Autistic. Author. Advocate. Maximus Bicyclist. Sweet-skilled skier and always ready for a beautiful hike.
[Editor’s note (dad): One of the things that I think is so cool about reading Aaron and Austin’s posts is that they dispel many of the myths about people with autism held by many “experts”. Myth #1–people with autism can’t put themselves in the place of someone else to understand another point of view. Aaron clearly shows that he understand how his struggles affect his mother. Myth #2–people with autism cannot understand abstract concepts. Aaron references my book a lot, understands that is a made up story and understands the symbolism of the character experiences. He also has a very clear understanding about spiritual things. Myth #3–people with autism only care about themselves. Aaron’s main goal in life is to help other people and he talks about it all of the time. Myth #4–people with autism don’t understand humor. I love Aaron’s tag-lines and I can banter with him like I do my older son. He is very witty. ]