I am so absolutely thrilled to share this piece by Gregory C. Tino! He is a remarkably sunny and kind person, and a fantastic communicator. His videos on YouTube are a wonderful resource for learning more about nonspeaking autistic experiences and advocacy. I warn you: prepare for tears when you watch his video about gaining communication access! And he has just published his 3rd book, The Autistic Boy in the Unruly Body, from which proceeds will be donated to Inside Voice, the nonprofit from which Gregory learned Spelling – check it out!
PAYDIRT & MIRACLES
Gregory C. Tino
In May of 2017 on a rainy Saturday, life changed for me. I am calling it a miracle because to me, it was.
It was a miracle that someone believed I was intelligent.
It was a miracle that they thought I had something to say.
It was a miracle that my most dreamed about wish was finally happening.
Elizabeth Vosseller was that person who turned my life on its ear that day and gave my mom her greatest Mother’s Day present to date. That day I was communicating my first open ended thought that didn’t include Barney the purple dinosaur. It did not include looping about having pizza for lunch or wanting to go to the library.
I told my family about my interest in the Civil War.
I told them about my mind-body disconnect.
I told them I loved them.
I was able to communicate in my first session. Many cannot and I don’t know why I was a lucky one. I am a person, no better than anyone else, but I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. I am forever going to remember the look on my mom’s face and hear her cry! I am glad she did not have a heart attack because that would have ruined the moment for sure!
Sometimes life sends you an unexpected curveball. That was mine, wrapped in all its glory on a rainy day that should have been like every other. Now I am loving my life, writing books, writing blogs, talking to friends, telling people I love them, teasing my brother, deciding what I want to do, and having fun.
That is what you call paydirt!
That is what you call a miracle!
About Gregory C. Tino
Gregory Tino is a nonspeaking autistic who has been spelling on a letterboard to communicate since 2017. He is a member of Spellers & Allies where he is an advocate for other nonspeakers, presents at conferences, and his goal is to educate people on the incredible capabilities of people with autism. He has written three books, The Land Called Boring, The Autistic Mind Finally Speaks, and the newly published The Autistic Boy in the Unruly Body. He also has written the narrative for multiple videos on his YouTube channel which is entitled Gregory C Tino. In his free time he enjoys writing for his blog The Autistic Mind Finally Speaks on WordPress, spending time with family, and riding his bike.