This website is mostly discussing the arts in education, but when I read this quote it really struck my heart at how accurate this is in Breanna's life. Tom Chapin is wanting to impress within people that teaching only facts and figures cannot possibly help any person achieve their full potential, not when potential lays outside of any measurable context. And when verbal language is the context by which society measures intelligence, where does that leave people like Bre?
She's highly intelligent, can problem solve amazing things. In light of the fact that she has a very severe auditory disconnect, it is amazing that she has figured out as much as she has in the world, it's very nearly like being dropped in Siberia and expecting to figure out how to buy a house, where to get a job, purchase food. It has lately become even more obvious that Breanna's auditory problems are profound, as she has started singing many of the songs she hears on the radio...loves the Muppet show, Puddles of Mud, and sings the national anthem a' la Twister medley (101.9 fm)
She is extremely passionate. People think that autism means that one doesn't feel, which is even more hurtful. Breanna cries, she laughs, she feels deeply and passionately either happy, or sad, or mad. When people say things about her looks or actions in public, she knows and it hurts her. When one boy asked why 'that girl' looked like a boy, the mom told him hatefully that if "she was my daughter, she wouldn't look like that", Breanna burst into tears and was ready to leave the mall immediately. These same people judge a person on their skin, their hair, their clothes, and never once consider that the content of their character might be deeper than ever considered.
Breanna may not be able to converse with us as others do, and she may not hear things the way we intend, but she does hear, and she does think, and as the quote says, she is not limited in any way...not in my lifetime.