Sydney Edmond is a teenager from Temecula, California who enjoys many of the same activities as her peers: she likes to see friends, chat with them online, read Twilight books, and is interested in getting a Facebook account. However, Edmond also has autism, and her autism has rendered her unable to speak.
Because she cannot verbally communicate, Edmond’s peers often doubt or underestimate how intelligent she actually is. Edmond herself feels trapped inside of her body, and easily overwhelmed. Having to endure a noisy, tense situation makes her feel exhausted. Sometimes this triggers her to lose physical control of her body and yell.
Her lack of bodily control prevents her from successfully utilizing sign language. So, seven years ago, at age 10, Edmond started using a letter board to communicate with the outside world. She later began using a keyboard that has the capability to speak what she types. Through the use of these devices, Edmond has been opened to the rest of the world, and the world of writing.
With some help from her mother, Edmond has collected her life’s story as well as her poems in a collection called “The Purple Tree and Other Poems.” They had the collection printed at a local library in Temecula, and Edmond has been hitting the “open mic” circuit in order to share her stories.
Edmond is thrilled to be communicating and sharing what goes on in her head. She said: “It’s being able to connect with others. That’s what makes life worth living.”