This I Believe

Blake - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on January 6, 2008

This I believe

I believe in appreciating a person’s individuality and talents. How we express ourselves makes us unique in our own way. There is a special group of people in our society that possess great individuality and talent. These individuals were born with a special way of communicating and expressing themselves. The rest of society is just beginning to understand and appreciate people with Autism. I personally found out about Autism in first grade.

I met Jacob P in Mrs. McGrew’s class. At the public school I attended, special kids like Jacob were integrated into normal classes. Jacob was in my class, every year, throughout elementary school. Jacob was a tall, somewhat rounded guy, with brown hair that was kept in a buzz cut. When we would receive our grades for various assignments that we had handed in, when he received a bad grade he would always find a way to make a good argument on why he shouldn’t receive that grade.

Everyone has subjects in which they tend do well in and maybe one or two that are a challenge. Jacob’s struggle was math class. In first grade, I remember, we were doing a math activity. We were put into groups, and the object of the game was to collect cards that would add up to… Reaching that number, or closest to it, equaled a win. I happened to be in the same group as Jacob. He had a tough time with addition. He would claim to be a winner with every hand, even though his cards were no where close to that number. My approach when I played with Jacob was to say, “Man, he beat me again! I can’t believe how lucky you are!”. A big grin would flash across his face every time I said those words. Jacob and I became friends.

Jacob’s way of expressing himself came through ideas and ingenuity of video games. Every day Jacob would write in his notebook that contained all of his ideas for characters, settings, plots, graphics, mostly anything you find in a video game. He could only write in it after he had finished all of his work so this notebook motivated him to learn more at a faster pace than most normal children. When he would turn in his completed work before most of the class, it was almost all correct.

Through my friendship with Jacob P I’ve learned so much about expressing myself and my own individuality. Never be afraid to express who you are and how you want because of what other people think. Being your own individual is what is most important. Everyone was made to be different, so why not be your self? I like to us my friend Jacob as an example, you could tell he was different, I wasn’t sure how, but he had the heart of a lion.