Short Tribute to Maya Angelou and why it matters to the Autism Community.

mayaangelou2Maya Angelou passed from this world today at the age of 86 and leaves with her a legacy that will stand the test of time. Not only was she an amazing writer, poet and wonderful orator with that deep voice of hers etc. but she was a role model to every woman… of all colours, all mothers, sisters, daughters whether they are NT or asperger’s. She should be a role model for all men as well.

mayaangelou2

Wikipedia lists her occupations as: Poet, civil rights activist, dancer, film producer, television producer, playwright, film director, author, actress, professor but as we all know…she was so much more. Her quotes were never of the “sappy Hallmark” kind but truly inspirational.

There are so many quotes I could have chosen but this one spoke to me for all the girls and women out there on the spectrum who are trying to find their own voice.

While I do not think it is accurate, Don Swaim, an American journalist and broadcaster, suggested during an interview with Dr. Angelou back in 1987 that she might in fact be autistic.

“Angelou fell in love with reading and poetry at the age of 8, shortly after she stopped talking. She was mute – as she refers to it – until she was a little over 12 years old. During this time, Angelou describes a transformation in her brain that made her capable of memorizing certain things to the smallest detail.”

She was also a long-time autism advocate. Each year, ABC of NC Child Development Center Annual Gourmet Lunchbox Lunch, a fundraiser. The Luncheon benefits the non-profit organization serving children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. Last November, Maya Angelou was the guest. Felice Brenner, ABC of NC board chair said,

“Dr. Angelou’s message of equality embodies our vision that all children with autism spectrum disorder are entitled to an equal chance to reach their full potential.”

I found this tweet from her speech.

mayaangelou

 

The same can be said of Dr. Angelou… Thank you.  You will be missed. RIP Maya.