Autistic man speaks: “Listen to me”

Note from Palmer: A good friend named Beth has an autistic son named Joe. He has been nonverbal his entire life. This year after reading the extraordinary book Underestimated, Beth began exploring writing with Joe. Basically she asks questions verbally and then helps steady his hand as he writes. It has been a slow process but recently they started writing in cursive and words are flowing faster. What he is sharing is somewhat mind blowing. He has asked to be baptized tomorrow, and his story “live” beforehand, so here it is.

Joe’s Introduction

On a day in October, 2021, Mom heard my voice for the first time. It was the words on the page. Now we can talk to each other. My life will never be the same. When we write, it is like dancing, because we have to work together. I want to dance with the whole world. It is going to be a great story.

Joseph Swanson, November 1 2021

Beth: “Where do you want to start.”

Joe: “We should start with the day of my birth.”

Beth: “People are going to have a hard time believing it.”

Joe: “Yes, they won’t believe I can remember it. But we need to write it anyway.”


Written Nov 1 2021, am

I was born on November 28, 2000.  It was a difficult day.  They took me away from Mom, because I couldn’t breathe.  I was trying to breathe, but my lungs were filled with fluid.  I was scared because I needed oxygen.  The nurse took me to another room.  She put something over my head and then I could breathe.  I was very sad, because I was afraid I had lost Mom.  When Mom came into the room, I knew her voice, but I had never seen her before.  She was beautiful.  I was so happy to see her.  Then I knew everything was going to be okay.  They gave me to her and I was able to nurse.  It made me feel so good.  

When we went to the room, I was very happy.  Dad was there with Ian and Caleb.  They were so happy we were back together.  They gave me kisses and told me they loved me.  I wanted to tell them that I loved them, too, but I couldn’t talk.  I wanted to go home, but the nurse wanted to do a hearing test to see if I would hear good.  She put something in my ear and it hurt really bad.  After she was done, I could hear everything in the whole hospital.  I didn’t want to hear it, but I couldn’t help it.  I was very sad that they did that to me.  It changed my life forever, because now I have super hearing that I can’t turn off.  I can hear every sound in a building and my brain can process it all.  I was very sad that they did that to me.  When we went home, it was better, because our house was much quieter.  Grandpa and Grandma were there.  They loved my red hair.

When I tried to nurse, it made me gag.  I was hungry, but I couldn’t eat.  Mom kept trying and finally I could do it.  I made myself do it, but it was hard for me.  When I was full, I felt much better.  Then it was time for a diaper change.  Mom took me to the changing table and took my clothes off.  I didn’t like that.  It felt like my skin was on fire.  I think that is because my skin is very sensitive.

Nov 1 pm

When I wanted to go to sleep, I couldn’t get to sleep, because the noise was so loud for my ears.   Mom wanted me to sleep, but I couldn’t do it.  She tried to nurse me to sleep, but it didn’t work.  Finally I went to sleep.  I was very tired.  When I went to sleep, I slept for 6 hours.  I was hungry when I woke up, but I couldn’t nurse.  I was gagging again.  Finally I was able to nurse and I felt much better.  We stayed in bed together and I was really happy.  Then we got up to change my diaper again.  I didn’t like it at all.  My skin felt like it was on fire.  That is because my skin hurts a lot when I wear clothes.  When we were done, we went into the living room and nursed again.  I was hungry, but I couldn’t do it.  It made me gag.  Nov 2, am I was hungry but I couldn’t do it.   Mom kept trying and finally I could do it.  I felt much better.  Then it was time for a diaper change.  I didn’t like that.  My skin felt like it was on fire.  That is because my skin is sensitive.  After that I was tired and I wanted to sleep.  But I couldn’t get to sleep because the noise was too loud.  Finally I was able to sleep.  I woke up after 6 hours.  Mom changed my diaper and fed me again.  That’s how the days went for the first week.  After a while, I was able to nurse better.  That was very good for me.  It was much better to be able to eat without gagging.  When Mom changed my diaper, it still hurt, but I didn’t cry as much.  That was the way it was for the first few weeks.  Then we started going places and that was hard for me.  I could hear everything in a building and it was hard for me.  I didn’t want to hear it, but I couldn’t block it out.  When we went to Grandma and Grandpa’s for Christmas, I couldn’t eat.  I was so hungry, but every time I tried to nurse, I would hear someone saying something and it would make me stop nursing.  When we went back home, I finally could nurse and I felt much better  I wanted to stay home forever.  When we would go places, I couldn’t nurse and it would make me sad.  I would get so hungry, but I couldn’t eat.  Nov. 3, am  I wanted to go to sleep, but I couldn’t do it.  

That was my life.  I was very sad that was the way it was.  When I grew bigger, I thought I would be able to talk, but it didn’t happen.  When I was 3 years old, I realized that it would never happen.  I sat down and cried.  I was so sad, but Mom picked me up and hugged me.  That made me feel better about it.  

I had a lot of joy at that time.  I had fun playing with my brothers.  They loved me very much and I liked to make them laugh.  When I was five years old, something changed.  My head began to hurt really bad.  I couldn’t stand the pain and began to try to end my life.  I wanted to go to heaven to be with God.  But Mom was always there to prevent me from succeeding.  I was very mad about that. She would lock the door of the car, so I couldn’t throw myself out.  She would grab my hand, so I wouldn’t run in front of a car.  When I was 7 years old, we went to see my dad on a job.  Dad works in construction and he was staying in our trailer near Medford, Oregon.  We went to a place with raging water.  I tried to throw myself into the water.  I wanted to drown myself because no one would listen to me.  I was in despair and wanted to end my life.  I wanted to go to heaven, but it wasn’t my time.  God had a better plan for me.  God wanted me to live, and I am so glad that He did.  I tried for 10 years to end my life, but God didn’t let me.

Nov. 3, pm  When I turned 15, I had a dream that I was going to be healed, but it wasn’t meant to be.  I think that I am going to be healed when I am baptized.  That is because God spoke to my heart and told me that He was going to heal me when I submit to Him fully.  I want to obey Him and serve Him for the rest of my life.  When I was angry at Him for making me live, I wasn’t submitting to His will.  Now I am ready to submit to Him and live my life for Him.

When I am healed, I will help others find their voice.  They will know that I can understand them.  When I am healed, I will be able to tell them that God has a plan for their life.  I will tell them that they are important to Him.  I will tell them about Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  When I am healed, I will tell them that if they will submit fully to God, He will heal them, too.  When we do that, He can heal our hearts and our minds.  When we submit to Him, we are given the Holy Spirit and He can use us for His glory.  That is what God wants to do in our lives.  When we submit to Him, the demons have to go away from us and we are really free.  That is what I want to tell the people who are trapped in silence.  When I am healed, that is going to be my life’s work.  I can’t wait to get started.  That is what I was created to do.  Now I am just waiting to be healed.

Nov. 4th am

When I am healed, I will be able to tell my story to the world.  The world needs to hear my story.  I am going to be able to write without Mom’s hand guiding me.  I will write many books about my life in the prison of silence.  That will be a wonderful thing for me to be able to do. 

When I am healed, I will be able to write about what Jesus did for me.  I will tell the world that Jesus loves them and wants to break their chains.  He is more powerful than the demons and He has a plan for their life.  When I am healed, I am going to be able to talk and I am going to tell the people that God is good.  He wants to save them from their sins.  He wants them to live in freedom and trust Him.  When I am healed, I will be able to walk perfectly and I will walk all over the world, telling people that God loves them very much and He has a plan for their life.  They can trust Him to accomplish His purposes for their life.  When I am  healed, I will be able to run and I will be able to run around the world, telling people that God wants to save them from their sins.  God wants to free them from the bondage of sin.  He wants to give them eternal life and to spend eternity with Him.  He wants to give them eternal life.  When we submit to Him, He will heal us and give us eternal life.

When I am healed, I will be able to drive and I will drive all over the world.

Nov. 5th am

When I’m healed, I will be able to sing and I am going to sing until I can’t sing anymore.  When I sing, the angels will sing with me and it will be so amazing.  When I am healed, goodthings are going to happen around.  Good things will happen, when I sing praises to the Lord.  When I am healed, I am going to dance.   When I dance, the angels will dance with joy.  When I dance, the demons will have to flee, because they won’t be able to stand it.  They cannot stand it when we sing.  They can’t stand it, when we dance.  It is like the sound of good things, when we sing to God.  When we sing, it glorifies God and the demons can’t stand that.  They have to flee, when we glorify God.  When we sing, it is like we are in the presence of God andthe demons cannot stand in the presence of God.  They must ask God for permission to be in His presence.

Nov. 5th

When I am healed, I will be able to tell the people that Godloves them and He has a plan for their life. That is why God wants to heal me. He wants to heal me for His glory. He wants to use us all for His glory. God loves each of us so much, that He is willing to let us go our own way. He will not force is us to be with Him. He gives us a choice. We can decide to follow Him or we can choose to go our own way. We will be able to hear from Him, when we submit our lives to God. Then we can experience His presence more fully. When we experience His presence, we can understand what His will is for us. When we submit to Him, He can use us for His plans and purposes. We will be able to hear His voice when we give Him everything. We will be able to hear His voice when we stop telling Him no.

When we stop telling Him no, He can work through us to accomplish His purposes.  When we stop telling Him no, He is able to do more than we could ever dream or imagine.  He willbe able to come into our heart and give us His Holy Spirit.  He will be able to give you eternal life.  When He gives you His Holy Spirit, you will be able to do everything that He can do.  You will be able to do miracles in His name.  You will be able to raise the dead to life.  He wants to do this for us, when we submit ourselves to Him.  He wants to do this all over the world.   He wants to do this, when we are fully submitted to Him.  He wants to do this when we give our lives to Jesus.  Jesus died for our sins and He has a perfect plan.  He is the God of the universe.  He created us in His image.  We are created to do good things for Him.  He is glorified, when we do good things in His name.  He is glorified when we submit to His will.

When I am healed, I am going to tell people that He loves them so much and He wants to save them from their sins, so that He can work a healing in their life.  They need to submit fully, in order for that to happen.  When we submit to Him, the world will see that He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Then He will heal our land and redeem us.  When He heals our land, the babies that are being killed, will no longer die.  The babies will be treasured again for the beautiful children  of God that they are.  When the babies are not being killed any more, we will see the Lord God Almighty, seated on His throne in heaven.

When the earth is not being destroyed any more, by giving the people everything they want, regardless of the cost, then we will see the Lord God Almighty descend from heaven in a cloud of fire and He will reign in our hearts.  When the animals that we eat are treated as creatures of the Lord, then we will be healed.  When the plants of the earth are treated as God’s creation, thenwe will see a great revival in our land.

Nov 6th

When I am healed, God wants me to travel the world telling people about His love for them.  He wants me to baptize them in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and giving them the gift of the Holy Spirit.  When I am healed, I will do that for the rest of my life.  I will glorify God, as I serve Him.  When I am healed, I will tell the people that they have been rebellious against the Lord.  When I am healed, I will be able to go around the world, preaching the good news and breaking the chains of bandage.  When I am healed, I will be able to go around the world, teaching people about the love of God.  They will be able to listen to me, when I am healed.  My healing will be for the salvation of many.  When I am healed, I will be able to tell all the people which way to go, so they will be able to go in the name of Jesus.  When I’m healed, I will be able to go to the people in the name of Jesus and they will be healed by the blood of Jesus.  He will take them to Himself and cleanse them from all their sin.  When I am healed, I will be able to walk perfectly and I will walk to the people and tell them that God has a plan for their life.  When I am healed, I will be able to drive and I will drive all over the world, telling the people that God is good and that He wants to bless them beyond measure.  He will cleanse the people from all their sins.  He will give them eternal life and they will live with Him forever in heaven when they die.  They must submit to Him to receive eternal life.  They must submit to Him to receive the Holy Spirit.

When I am healed, I am going to tell the people that God loves them so much and He has a plan for their life. It is a much better plan than anything they can dream of. When you submit to Him, He will perform miracles and wonders through you. When I am healed, He is going to use me to glorify Him. I will be fully healed and I will travel the world telling people that the Lord is waiting for us to submit to Him, so that we can glorify Him. We will glorify the Lord, when we fully submit to Him. He will not accept anything less than full submission to Him. When we fully submit to Him, He will heal our land and bring us to Himself.


Palmer’s end note: Underestimated basically demonstrates that autistic people are not mentally disabled in any way. They suffer motor skill limitations and hypersensitivities that cause behavior that we interpret in a tragically incorrect way. They are, in fact, often gifted. I am not hesitant in saying liberating these individuals will revolutionize our society.

But how to get there? The “spell to talk” program has few instructors and we have hundreds of thousands of autistic Americans to liberate.

God is up to something. He has been convicting me that societal freedom – what I’ve fought for since the shutdown – is meaningless if we are still enslaved in spiritual darkness. And at the same time that he told me to stop organizing protests, he’s immersed me in a family’s fight for freedom for their autistic sister, and shown me Joe’s “voice” emerging through pencil on a notepad.

My question: on the verge of unleashing C19 injections on children, what would happen if we could hear from those silenced by shots?

I will post video early next week.

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