“Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”
Pacifica Senior Dwayne Cox, in front of roughly 100 hundred people, had this quote shown as the first slide of his presentation “What you “Aut to Know” about autism”. Dwayne is diagnosed with autism, but he is the first to let people know that it won’t get in the way of him accomplishing what he puts his mind to, as evidenced by his acceptance and commitment to LMU for next fall.
Dwayne felt inspired to speak about autism because he can add his own experience and reflect on it in a way that some random doctor or behavioral specialist would not be able to. His presentation lasted about 20 minutes, and in it he offered insight into the mind of an autistic person, while explaining common symptoms found in people with autism. The presentation is informative not only for the information given about autism, but also for Dwayne’s suggestion with how to deal with people who have autism.
Dwayne underscores an important distinction that many people don’t make, which is the distinction between difabilities and disabilities. People like Dwayne have difabilities, meaning that certain things in their everyday life are more challenging, but are not impossible, which is what the word disability is used for. Dwayne’s ability to not be ashamed by his challenges, but to embrace them and use them as a tool to educate others and speak out about them is inspiring and is why he is perfect for what he does. Dwayne’s actions make it clear that autism is not a curse, and in a lot of ways is an absolute blessing. One thing I’m taking away from his message and I believe everyone should as well, is that we all “aut” to be a little more like Dwayne. Thank you, Dwayne Cox!