Earlier this year, I submitted a TEDx Talk proposal for this year’s Dayton event. Mine was one of nearly 200 proposals submitted. I was very pleased to be chosen as one of about 50 to get to audition. And now I have the honor of being chosen as one of the speakers at this year’s TEDx Dayton!
My talk is titled “Ten Things I Have Learned from Amelia.” Amelia is my soon-to-be-nine-year-old daughter, who was diagnosed with autism just before her third birthday. This talk has been brewing in my mind for years, and I have already used it as the basis of a five-minute “Ignite” style talk, and it appears in the CCHMC booklet “Sharing Hope”, which is given to families of individuals who are beginning a plan of care at their Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. While there have been many discussions over the last six years about what and how we might teach Amelia, I have found it to be much more powerful to pay attention to what and how she is trying to teach me about herself and the way she sees the world.
The organizers of TEDx Dayton have pushed me (and all of the other speakers), to make sure that we are able to give the best quality delivery we can of the best quality construction of our message that we can. On Friday, October 12, Amelia’s will be one of several stories that are told that day, on the stage of the Victoria Theatre.
I have many, many people to thank for their contributions to Amelia’s development over the last nine years, and I won’t have time to thank them all on October 12. But, my goal is to let Amelia, and all of her friends and family, and everyone out there who can identify with her, know just how amazing she is and how much we can all learn from one another if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons being taught.