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 “If I could snap my finger and be non-autistic, I would not. Autism is part of who I am.”

Meet Ramzy: a young aspiring man who graduated with honors from the University of Southern California, with a BA in Theater and Dramatic Arts. After graduating, he worked on and off with startup-on-demand streaming companies. He’ll be shortly pursuing his post graduate studies in screenwriting for film and television at Emerson University.

This success story seems quite ordinary, as the world provides a plethora of more sensational and inspiring stories than that of Ramzy; however, Ramzy’s  journey  is still remarkable in so many ways.  At the age of 3, Ramzy was diagnosed with ADD, and was put on the autism spectrum, and specialists recommended he be enrolled in a special school for children with all kinds of learning disabilities. His parents however, were resolved to diligently work on their own, without resorting to medication, to nurture the endearingly beautiful character attributes Ramzy was blessed with. And that’s how this family embarked on this long uncharted trek. They relentlessly worked with Ramzy on all school subjects, every single day of his elementary, middle, sophomore, and junior high school years. During his senior year, Ramzy started working independently and managed to end up with a straight A GPA, and landed The Presidential Award for Math. Ramzy’s refuge throughout all those years was theater. He starred in school plays, wrote his own play scripts, and made short movies, one of which won top prize at the local Bay Area annual film festival.

Unquestionably, Ramzy’s story is not akin to the all cases of learning difficulties or disabilities, but it is definitely one to be emulated. His case epitomizes all the essential aspects our SKILD institution has been doggedly working on since 2011. The first aspect has to do with how parents’ greater understanding of their children’s differences and strengths, and of how their children experience the world, can help these parents become more accepting of these differences. The second  is about how raising awareness of neurodiversity not just among parents, but also among educational institutions,  can help society in general become more tolerant and embracing of these differences, and in turn, prevent these special children from masking their symptoms, or in some sadly common cases, blaming themselves for problems at school.
The final crucial factor, introducing these children to the employment sector, culminates the previously highlighted factors and crowns all of these unyielding efforts.

 “If I could snap my finger and be non-autistic, I would not. Autism is part of who I am.”   Temple Grandin, a prominent American scientist  

This is one laboring and very demanding mission we have vowed to accomplish with the Lord’s guidance and assistance, but it’ll be the most rewarding odyssey ever!

Amal Ibrahim

Amal Ibrahim is an English Language Arts Instructor, and English coordinator at BESGB. She is also a freelance translator, teacher trainer at Garnet, and Peace Ambassador for Universal Peace Federation, Lebanon.

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