The high school student’s ‘Ido in Autismland’ is part memoir and part protest, a compelling message to educators on how to teach people such as him.
I t-h-i-n-k …
Ido Kedar sits at the dining room table of his West Hills home. He fidgets in his chair, slouched over an iPad, typing. He hunts down each letter. Seconds pass between the connections.
… A-u-t-i-s-m-l-a-n-d …
He coined the word, his twist on Alice’s Wonderland.
“C’mon,” says his mother, Tracy. “Sit up and just finish it, Ido. Let’s go.”
He touches a few more keys, and then, with a slight robotic twang, the iPad reads the words he cannot speak.
I think Autismland is a surreal place.
For most of his life, Ido has listened to educators and experts explain what’s wrong with him. Now he wants to tell them that they had it all wrong.
Last year, at the age of 16, he published “Ido in Autismland.” The book — part memoir, part protest — has made him a celebrity in the autism world, a young activist eager to defy popular assumptions about a disorder that is often associated with mental deficiency.