I am EquiisSavant, an Autistic Savant with an intense restrictive interest in people with Autism like me who ride horses, play music, create savant artwork, and who believe people with Autism should be given equal opportunity to achieve the American Dream.
I was diagnosed with autism and savant abilities by my neurologist, Michael Hoffmann, M.D., University of South Florida. To see Autism diagnosis, go to Documents link.
My late mother, who was my first teacher, obtained a teaching credential, studying special education in the doctoral programs at Michigan State University, and dropping out of her Ph.D. program to devote her time to creating one of the earliest personalized autism interventions of the 1960s for me.
My mother provided me with many activities and challenges to develop and enhance my autism savant abilities, including banning me from watching movies or TV (except for very limited shows) 24/7 to try to teach me to be able to read; swimming to enable me to pass the junior lifesaving course at our local high school by age 11; ballet to enable me to reach levels on toe by age 12 (because I was an autistic toe-walker) with invitations to dance in annual recitals; music with the flute and recorder to help my ability to communicate, with invitation to and participation on the All City Band in my community by age 12; and therapeutic horseback riding that ultimately integrated me into the mainstream of American competition to enable me to achieve a U.S. National A/O Hunter Championship by age 19 -- qualifying for and competing at Madison Square Garden three times.
My mother told me not to be afraid to dream big dreams and that despite my Autism, I could reach those dreams and achieve anything I wanted to be.I began my journey no different than any other child with autism -- as the autistic child featured below. Different from the ABA autism interventions World of today, I grew up during the innovative 1960s when special education, knowledge about autism, and autism interventions in the United States were still in their infancy.
My Mom initially taught me communication using pictures because I only had two words by age 2.9 months.
Pica and Stimming:
June 15, 1957 - 14 months, mouthing objects, stimming. "Licking or mouthing objects is classified as a stim." Stimming, http://aspierations.blogspot.com/2010/08/justins-middle-school-orientation-part.html .
Lining-Up My Plastic Breyer Horses:
I used to line up my Breyer plastic horses. E.g., "Rather than engage in imaginative play with the cars, [the Autistic child] prefers lining them up. The exception is when we have road mats for him to help him take his cars from place to place." Stimming,http://aspierations.blogspot.com/2010/08/justins-middle-school-orientation-part.html .
Creating Horse and Pony Snow Tunnels: