Thursday, April 25, 2013

Barb Rentenbach

Barb's presentation was unlike anything I've ever experienced before. At the beginning, she showed us how she uses facilitated communication, consisting of her typing her thoughts out letter by letter. While slow and tedious, it's the only way for her to convey her thoughts. She typed out the words, "dear utk autism is my prism not my prison." From there, her psychologist/facilitator proceeded to explain her idea of autism. Rather than it being a mental disorder or illness, she explains that it's simply a different type of brain. While us "normals" often see autism for its negatives, we should instead focus on the positive aspects. Barb feels as though "normals" go through life too quickly and forget to focus on the small, beautiful things in life that people with autism always notice and appreciate. I really enjoyed the presentation and learned a lot from it, however, I wish that Barb played a larger role in it. It would have been nice to hear more of her thoughts because my favorite part of the presentation was the Q&A. Her intelligence and sense of humor is amazing; she embodies the saying "don't judge a book by its cover."

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