From Malva: I love watching Benjamin as he gives his autism presentations. He positively glows on stage, and people are so clearly touched by his beautiful spirit and engaging smile. Benjamin has given 20 of these presentations by now, and it somehow feels like a celebration every time!
During April, Benjamin spoke at four different venues, starting with Naropa University (as part of their Mary Culkin Education Lecture Series). Afterwards, enthusiastic faculty members extended an invitation for Benjamin to return next year and inspire the next crop of students, particularly those who are studying early childhood education. Two days later, Benjamin presented with live Spanish translation for a parent-group called Caminando Juntos. We were so touched by a young man with autism who was so inspired by the talk that he communicated to his mother, “All is possible. There is hope.”
Next, Benjamin was at the University of Colorado, guest-speaking for a class called “Disabilities in Contemporary American Society.” Once again, we were thrilled to be educating people about the differences and difficulties caused by autism, while also demonstrating that special gifts and talents can go hand-in-hand with a disability. The final presentation was at the Louisville Public Library, where the audience included some teens with Asperger’s and a bright little boy who begged Benjamin for more jokes during the Q&A session. Obliging, Benjamin told an expansive story-joke featuring a parrot, sending the audience into gales of laughter with the unexpected denouement of his tale.
Touching hearts and creating joy is certainly one of Benjamin’s greatest gifts!