Providence Village, Denton — Emily Betenbaugh-Harris, 11 is autistic and is like any other girl her age. The Denton Record-Chronicle tells that she enjoys going to the park, playing and taking her dogs for walks.
Emily wrote a five-paragraph essay on her life with autism as an entry for the PTA Reflections program that:
“My brain works different but I can believe, dream and inspire,”
For the 2013-14 school year, students were encouraged to submit dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts on the theme “Believe, Dream, Inspire” to the PTA Reflections program.
Emily’s essay was titled “Emily’s Autism” and won top awards at her school, Providence Elementary School, and received the state PTA’s Overall Award of Excellence in literature category. It can be read in full on issu here.
Emily said of her essay;
“It was inspiring [to] me … to learn about autism and that’s why I needed to do something that was important to me,”
Emily’s mother said that her daughter’s essay “spoke from the heart” and
“[Emily] doesn’t even reflect on it that much; she’s like, ‘this is it, this is how I feel.’”
The essay took Emily 20 minutes to compose with assistance from Pam Lawrence, a life skills aide at her school and it was Pam who suggested that Emily write about her life with autism for the contest.
Emily’s father also told of how extremely proud he is of his daughter, adding:
“Just her concern of wanting to educate other people, it’s like she’s putting other people before herself.”
The original article by Britney Tabor on the DentonRC.com website can be read here