WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2016-2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/745407

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Page 172 of 211

autistic individuals across the country. It is the subject of a one-hour documentary film available on her website. "People who are well-meaning tend to look at the Billys of the world as separate, as non-communicators," she said. "The goals they set for them are ones of compliance rather than education. They expect them to follow directions rather than teach them how to ask questions. "When Billy was very sick, we saw many medical professionals, social workers, and educators. Even though they had the best of inten- tions most of the time, they really still looked at Billy a certain way. They saw him as a non-verbal young man with autism, end of story, effectively cutting off interaction. Yet this young man was exhibiting so much courage and compassion, such forgiveness. I needed to flesh out what they were seeing so that one day, if they read this book, and they interact with someone like Billy, they might rethink how they do that. "Individuals with autism are not invisible. They have a voice and need access and education in terms of communication. It will not only make their lives easier but also the lives of those around them." 171 w i n t e r 2 0 1 6 / 2 0 1 7 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e n LEARNING TO KISS by Eve E. Megargel is available from Amazon in paperback or for Kindle. n WWW.VOICECOLORS.ORG has a link to the documentary film Voice Colors ® — Billy's Story and information on the Megargel's communication resource model for individuals with autism. n VISIT www.wmmartgallery.com to see Billy Megargel's paintings online.

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