9 year old non-speaking autistic boy writes touching letter to the President about racism and fear

Diego Pena

Nine-year old Diego Pena, who has a bestselling book on autism for parents, educators, and students, (an Art of Autism popular blog) recently wrote this letter to the President.

Diego Pena's Letter to the President

Diego’s mom, Edlyn Pena, says “The way it happened was he asked his communication partner Amanda about the KKK. I guess he had been hearing about it from the news and at home with the recent events in Charlottesville. So Amanda pulled up info online about the KKK and read it to him. Then she asked, do you want to write a letter to the President to express your feelings about this. He said ‘yes.'” Diego communicates through pointing to letters on a letterboard. Amanda transcribed the letter.

Diego is fully included in a general education classroom with his communication partner, Amanda. Diego also participates in the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program in his district. Below is a picture of Amanda and Diego.

Diego Pena with Amanda

Diego’s dad, Damien Pena, shared the letter with the hashtag #Ilovemyson on Facebook. He writes “Diego is my little social justice warrior.”

Here is how you can contact the President.

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4 Comments

  • Liz says:

    At the very least, he’s parroting what he’s heard his parents say. That’s an autistic trait, I have 3 boys on the spectrum, and am on the spectrum myself. At 9 years old, I wasn’t using that phraseology, and neither are my boys, “gifted’ or not (I have one with a gifted distinction as well, his IQ was evaluated at 135+). 9-year-olds don’t tend to talk like that, this was at best, coached/coerced, and at worst, actually written by an adult. Shame on them.

  • Dan says:

    Why do you assume that he is not smart enough to write that himself? I am autistic and my standard of written language was also very advanced from a young age – just because he does not speak doesn’t mean he can’t communicate intelligent thoughts via other methods. Perhaps he had help with words such as ‘manifests’ though, but that is a small part of the letter. It’s a shame the mentally inadequate buffoon that is Trump won’t be able to read it.

    • Liz says:

      The odds that he actually discovered and became interested in politics without his parents voice in it is slim to none. Nine year olds parrot their parents’ opinions, regardless of their level of function. If you can believe otherwise, I have a have a bridge I’d like to sell you! And when the hell did leaders of countries require input from children half the voting age, as if they have a clue how works? I’m not even a particularly Trump fan, though he’s infinitely better than the she-devil that wears pantsuits, but all the jealousy of Trump’s success is hilarious! Haha!

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