Reader Spotlight- Meet Naples Resident, Michael Presto.
Your work: I am not working now as I continue to study the hierarchy of spelling to communicate. I have recently reached a major milestone, and now am learning to use the computer keyboard so I may be autonomous. I would like to write about life with autism and spelling to communicate. On behalf of the MVP Autism Foundation here in Naples, I have demonstrated spelling on communication boards to numerous professionals.
Proudest achievement: I have become humbly proud of my communication achievements. Autism and apraxia make it quite difficult for an individual like me. I am a minimal speaker that has just learned how to use letter boards to communicate. I learned to spell and read at 2 years old, but could not verbally respond to language, so people assumed that the comprehension was not there. Using the letter boards has given me a voice. My S2C spelling practitioners, along with my mom and dad, have supported and allowed me to reach a major milestone in my life.
Expectations for the future: It is my greatest hope that all non-speaking and minimally speaking autistics will also have the same opportunity that I have had using letterboards to communicate. It has changed my entire life!
Local or global causes supported: The Spellers Revolution and all the organizations that are helping to promote this form of communication.
Favorite thing about Natural Awakenings: The tremendous resources that my family has gained from it. We appreciate alternative therapies.
Where you pick up your copy of Natural Awakenings: Unity of Naples.
Most frequented health food restaurants: Organically Twisted (great walnut tacos) and True Food Kitchen.
How I support my community: In conjunction with The MVP Autism Foundation, in Naples, I have shown spelling to communicate on letter boards to numerous professionals such as speech and language therapists and occupational therapists, and in medical facilities and educational settings. I’ve also demonstrated to individuals with autism, as well as their families, and to families with loved ones on the autism spectrum, and of course other autistics like me.
Favorite inspirational quote: “Not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say.” ~ Rosemary Crossley
What I am doing to be the change I want to see in the world: My life’s mission is lived every day as I use spelling to communicate and teach others about this method.