Inclusion, Communication and Civil Rights

My name is Henry Frost.
This is my road to inclusion.
Inclusion,
Communication
and Civil Rights.

It has been a long year.
A good year. A hard year.
The beginning was easy.
Being angry was easy.

I had support from many people. Many people who are here today
started this with me. It was easy because together we were fighting.
This was not just my fight, my community was fighting.

Standing together for communication inclusion and civil rights for all people.
Messages of support every day made the time happy for me.
I have a community.

All Autistic people should feel this. All Disabled people. All people.

Together this is the goal for change . Alone is not living.

All the people together will change.
I was alone always living.

My family full of love and acceptance for all people. Before alone for more ideas of
community of disabled people.

I am Needing People knowing not guessing thinking feeling of old minds othering my life.

Knowing is different.
Knowing people choosing the life not people choosing the life for them.

I did not know about disability autistic advocacy before Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonette. Tracy and Larry are in a movie called Wretches & Jabberers.

Tracy and Larry opened the door for hopeful times of freedom communication community friendship. The way of having rights not just in my home.

Having the rights of all people everywhere.

Showing me Communication. Not typing. Many years of typing for learning. Years using proloquo2go talking about wanting not thinking.

My life is more than books and wants and food.

I got on the typing train. I read about inclusion, communication, and civil rights.

I had good times of learning. Good times of eating life and rally typing.
Tracy told me I was not alone. Tracy told me he knew the hard times of typing. To keep working. Tracy knowing the feeling of people thinking I was not thinking. Tracy and Larry Knowing the feeling of lonely life alone.

Knowing together is everything different for me.

All disabled people need to know we are together fighting.
Not just adults.
All kids need to know the big community .

Meeting people like me who made the choices of life changed all.

Then I am knowing I want this life.

It is hard to not have once you see.

Watching Wretches & Jabberers I am feeling the almost of hopeful times.Tracy told me about conferences in Orlando and M I T. My wanting to learn feeling and being together feeling was very strong.

My family saw. I had hopeful times . Tracy invited me home to Vermont to learn . I went to IC I to learn.

All the people saw my intelligence .

No test first.

It was very free. I never had many people understand.
To wait. To listen.
Not outside home.

I did not want to go back to people unknowing.

I read more words from typers watching my movie to feel community.

At the MIT Conference Mary Schuh asked, “Why don’t you go to the school in your
NEIGHBORHOOD?
I did not know.

Typing. Every day. It is hard. Many times of getting stuck.

I read more. I made my plan for going to the school in my neighborhood. My mom talked to people who were on the road before. Many people thinking inclusion. Mom got the same grade 5th grade school work so I would be ready for 6th grade.

My old school only for special education did not have books just copies.
The people did not see me as them.

My knowing of inclusion life made time at my old school very sad. I could not stay.
I told mom and Russ they understood.

My new school was at my home.

Learning is easy when the teacher knows you can learn.

Mom and Renee knew.

My thoughts grow.

Typing with Renee all days 8 hours. Renee was a different teacher.
Renee was a Disability Studies learner who supported my typing and taught me.
All teachers knowing Disability real History is important. Learning about the Disability Rights movement was good.

More community.

I knew but did not know .
Wishing I was knowing always.
My family did not know all of the history the disability leaders .
My family did not know every day life for disability.
Many or most people do not .

My family thinking it is better to protect my knowing about discrimination and prejudice.

I love my family.

It is not possible to protect my knowing.
It is my life.

My family learned learned more and understood more.
They understand Nothing About Us Without us is for Me too.

I read Ari Ne’eman . He also knew. He knew the feeling of segregation. It is not a good feeling. I wrote him many times but I did not send. I met him at The Autism Summer Institute in New Hampshire.

I took a step. I met more autistic advocates.

They also knew.

They saw me .

I went back to Tampa.

The district said no again. I could not go to the school in my neighborhood.

I wrote to Ari about my plan for inclusion. He told me he was there for help and support. ASAN was there. Ari Ne’eman telling of equal rights for disabled people .

Many Autistic people helped.
Many people helped.
My community helped.

I worked on the homework of my neighbor for six months to prepare for school.

On August 23rd I got to the worksheet on Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez.

I read about The Civil Rights Act and Dr Martin Luther King’s work.
I did not know why all people did not know about this Act.

I decided to fight for rights that are mine.

I decided to take my message of inclusion and The Civil Rights Act to the RNC convention. All the people said yes. My friend Tres Whitlock and his family stood too . I wrote about it. My sisters wrote about it.

Then Amy Sequenzia wrote I Stand with Henry.
Emily Titon had an idea to make a FB page and Amy and Steve helped. Alyssa wrote about it and all the people who wrote I Stand with Henry posts.

Everyone stood together.
“I Stand With Henry” had all the people hoping for better for the community.

I walked to the IEP with this feeling of my community. I did not feel alone.
My IEP and 18 people came.
They came to tell me no.
It is hard to be 12 and have adults tell you are not a person.
Not a person granted equal rights to all people person in the Civil Rights Act. You do not have the same rights as your neighbor. As your sisters.

It was hard.

But I was not afraid.

I was angry.

We made a petition on Change.org . I liked that. I wrote, my mom and Russ wrote . Mary Schuh and Lydia Brown helped . More together. It was a good idea. People started signing. So many people.

Then I had many IEP meetings.The IEP meetings were 16 hours. I, Ari Ne’eman, VenSequenzia, Cheryl Jorgensen ,Mary Schuh Stephanie Ong, Russ, Mom told the rights of all people to the meeting.

Many people helped. On November 14, 2012, they said I could go to school in my neighborhood. They saw the rights that are mine. They said I could go to school in January.

I walked to school on my first day January 23rd 2013. I met Miss Jackson my aide.
She is one of the knowing people. She did not say prove 10 times.

Then I met teachers.

The first week was easy. They said to take it easy get used to it. Okay.

I have accommodations. I am Hard of Hearing.
Here is the problem, people think I can hear . Or do not care that I do not.
Both are problems.
Being Deaf is not the problem .
Do you hear me?

I like the students.

Two teachers from the IEP meetings were my teachers. They did not change the old thinking.

They are learning. I am trying to be patient for their learning. I am wanting more to be the student not the teacher for their learning.

The old thinking hurts. Not presuming my competence hurts.
The feeling of strength got smaller in me.
Many long days with no communication.
My stored thoughts were keeping me okay. Messages from my friends were keeping me .
Messages from my community keeping me.

More disabled students need to know we are here for each other. Most are alone.

My weeks of beginning there were many tests. Tests that I could not hear or type my answers. Some days I could not use my iPad in class. They said to use neo like alpha smart.
It was different. It was hard.

On times to use my iPad my words were stimming to the people.
I was communicating. This is from my I.E. P.
They do not understand communication.

They need to read Julia Bascom on stimming.
They need to learn about autism from autistic people.
Disability from disabled people.

Spring 2013

ASAN asked me to be part of the PSA for Autism Acceptance Month. Listen UP.
It was a secret.
It was more building more strong thoughts to use when I need.

I stood at the Lincoln Memorial I used the strength of all people fighting for rights.

In April Mary Schuh came to school with me. It was my favorite day. Needing more Mary Schuh here.

It was the only day for free communication.
The only day to show my true intelligence and free participation.
All the answers inside were free to share with the people. It was my favorite day. I answered all.

I answered but my words were interpreted translated.

There is No translation necessary.

Tracy, Larry, Harvey, Pascal, Gerry, and Mary came to Tampa to help me teach the people about acceptance and to presume competence. It is lifes moments of eating and typing together.

Summer 2013

I am tired. I am tired for fighting for rights that are mine. Rights people already fought .
I am tired but I will keep fighting. Together we are fighting.

Supports are necessary not optional.

I can learn. I do learn.

Fighting for access is hard.
Learning is not hard.
The learning I can do.

This is my first time in general education. Same work, same tests. I made an 82 on my Science semester exam. I made an A in World History. C in Science and Language Arts.

All students can learn.

I am hoping that all the autistic kids.
Hoping all disabled not disabled kids look to see the community.

We are here. you are with us. Speak up ., reach out, we are not alone.

Video ‘School and Civil Rights’

Today I read about Martin Luther King.
The worksheet said because of Dr King’s work, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave equal rights to all people.
I am a person.
I want these rights.

I want to go to school in my neighborhood.

Why can’t I?

Black and white photograph of teenage boy with white skin and dark hair. Text Reads" Henry Frost. In 2012 Henry faced disability based discrimination when he was denied entry to the middle school across the street from his home. Then 12 year old Henry started “I STAND WITH HENRY” to take action against the segregation and low expectations he encountered and to empower others to stand together and demand full access to equal education in their neighborhoods. Henry’s international social media campaign garnered tens of thousands of supporters and he was allowed entry into his neighborhood school after months of negotiation. Henry went on to excel not only in General Education but it Advanced Honors and Gifted classes.He was the 2013 Recipient of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network's Award for Service to the Self-Advocacy Movement. You can find Henry @istandwithhenry on Facebook and Twitter. "

About the Author:

In 2012 Henry faced disability based discrimination when he was denied entry to the middle school across the street from his home. Then 12 year old Henry started “I STAND WITH HENRY” to take action against the segregation and low expectations he encountered and to empower others to stand together and demand full access to equal education in their neighborhoods. Henry’s international social media campaign garnered tens of thousands of supporters and he was allowed entry into his neighborhood school after months of negotiation. Henry went on to excel not only in General Education but it Advanced Honors and Gifted classes.He was the 2013 Recipient of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network's Award for Service to the Self-Advocacy Movement. You can find Henry @istandwithhenry on Facebook and Twitter.

9 Comments

Leave A Comment