Meaghan's Voice: A Young Woman with Autism Speaks Out
I have listened enough. It is time for me to speak. I have a lot to teach the world about autism. I think that there is a lot of...
Everything we do, every thought we think, every emotion we have or sensation we experience, is the result of our neurons firing. They control our thinking, seeing, hearing, feeling, how we move and interact with our environment.
When you get right down to it, the electric activity of our neurons makes us who we are. So if follows that... if you change the pattern of this electric activity, you alter the way your brain operates, how you think, move and behave.
The last ten years have seen an explosion of progress in every aspect of neurotechnology, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, computer enhancement and micro-electronics. Today it is possible to significantly improve the quality of life for all those with neurological, movement and learning disorders, with a non-invasive head set that combines neurofeedback technology with a brain computer interface (BCI).
Today it is possible level the playing field for everybody by enabling disabled and less than fully abled individuals to wrest back control of the dysfunctional neural connections in their brains and re-wire that electricity to enhance their lives.
...and hopefully we have learned some lessons from what we have all lived through, because it would be inexcusable if we have not. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives to a virus because we were caught off guard. Fortunately, our scientists and biochemists were up to the task of coming up with a vaccine fairly quickly to prevent further loss of life.
But if there is one lesson the Pandemic should have taught us it is that we can't sit back and wait until a crisis arrives take action. We need to be proactive. Remarkable has been made over the last twenty years in Brain Computer Interface research and innovation. Non-invasive BCI and IVR (Immersive Virtual Reality) solutions in the form of wearable head gear are available right now that could make a critical difference in the lives of a large portion of our population.
.But you don't hear about this in the news or from health care providers because, hey, there is no crisis. No one is dying. But the thing is, a heck of a lot of people are leading lives of quiet discontent and even desperation. Quiet, because a lot of them are unable to talk or communicate by any means. Discontent, because they know that things could be better for them.
Our days on this earth are numbered. Some of us get to make the most of them. Others just have to get through them. That just doesn't seem fair or right. Not when there is something that can be done about it. And when that something is available right now.
Through her singular focus on helping another, whose problems she considers more serious than her own, Anna sheds a light not only on the compassion and selflessness of those with autism, but also on their insight and non-verbal intelligence.
Her quest to understand how the brain operates might have started out as an escape from the narrowly structured confines of her autistic existence, but when her housemate, Daniel, is in grave danger of losing all that he holds dear, she vows to do everything in her power to see to it that his remarkable artistic talent survives the amputation of his gangrene hands.
Anna doggedly pursues every lead and, in doing so, discovers that what will work to solve Daniel’s problem is actually something that could work to reshape and substantially improve the health care of all those with disabilities.
But will her voice make a difference?