A Teacher Saved My Life
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A Teacher Saved My Life

I’ve always felt a kinship with animals. It was always easier to work
out what a cat was feeling, or understand R2D2 in Star Wars, than to try to read the complex
language that is human social interaction. I could calm down a nervous horse, but I couldn’t even realize that
another human being was nervous, or angry. It should be no surprise that
I had no real friends as a kid. The friendly acquaintances I did have, kids of my mom’s friends, refused to admit they even knew me anywhere near any public group. They were aliens to me, with a foreign psychic language that I just didn’t understand. I knew the definition of the words
that came out of their mouths, but never understood the actual
meaning of what they were saying. I knew there were hidden
meanings there, because they always got angry
when I never caught on. Other kids called me stupid. After years of that, I started to agree. At home, life was hard, too. Being simply told to do
something would paralyze me, and it wouldn’t get done. My mother sometimes asked
what was wrong with me, although we knew what was wrong. I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I need linear directions, and things spelled out for me
that to most would be obvious. School is something
I should have excelled at. But I didn’t. I had to work around people
who refused to work with me, teachers who would yell at me
for things I didn’t understand and wouldn’t explain anything, and kids who taunted me mercilessly until I got suspended for
fighting for the rest of the year. I was being threatened with juvenile
delinquent schools, in second grade, just for having meltdowns or not
understanding what was expected of me, and eventually becoming angry and depressed enough to lash out. This all changed when I met
one teacher, in third grade. The first adult who really understood. He pulled me out of
the other classes I was in and taught me everything himself. He related all topics back to my interests, geology, animals, past
and present, machinery. I wrote book reports on fantasy books instead of books based on everyday fiction, and was reading at a
level far beyond expected. I had math problems that
involved bones found on dig sites, and for once was inspired to do them. He told me that there
was nothing wrong with me. It was more like others
were expecting I was a car, but instead I’m a plane. I can’t function like a car will, but I can do some
things a car never could. Because of him, I didn’t give up. Because of him, I saw a reason to learn how
to try to talk to other people. He taught me the
basics of how to interact. In sixth grade, I found
someone else who was like me, who I really understood. For the first time in my life, I found someone who I could understand, on the same kind of
intuitive psychic wavelength that others seemed to be on. The school wasn’t sympathetic. They made a rule we could
not acknowledge each other on Tuesday or Thursday. We spent that time miserable, hounded by kids who would taunt us. He would always snap eventually
and I could do nothing to help. Apparently, it was some misguided
attempt to try to help us branch out, but adults just didn’t understand
that if we could have, we would have. Instead, we’d finally found someone
who spoke our language, so we were punished for it. I was told it was ‘creepy’ how we’d ignore everyone else. I pointed out that we would
accidentally ignore everyone anyway, because I can’t understand
when they’re trying to talk to me. Nothing changed, except I learned the depths to
which normal people would go just to ruin my life. Just to single me out, trip me up, and make me feel ashamed for existing. My friend and I fell out of touch, thanks to them. It shattered my first real
friendship irreparably, and I thought I would never find others. But, I had learned some things, both from my old friend
and from my old teacher. By eighth grade, I had ended up being folded into
a small social group of friends I talked to every day. We pranked teachers together. We spent a lot of our
time horsing around, in and out of class. We became known as the Terrible Trio, or the Fearsome Four, depending on how many of
us were in a class at a time. Not one of them was autistic like me, but it no longer mattered. I had learned enough to be
able to make friends on my own, all thanks to the one person who saw who I could be so long ago and gave me a chance. Despite the fears of
all the adults around me, I turned out just fine and it was no thanks to them. I’m now 30. I have a robust social life and I work in customer service, known for always being
enthusiastic and genuine. I’ve never forgotten the
lessons my teacher taught me. There is nothing wrong with me. Being autistic is not a badge of shame. It doesn’t mean I can’t understand
emotions or the mental state of others. It means that once I
learn how to interpret, I can do a better job at it than most, because I had to study people. And all of that was
thanks to one teacher, who really cared. Being different isn’t broken. Being different is just different. Our world is so vibrant and amazing, full of various stories and styles, because people are different. I wasn’t broken, and to anyone out there
who feels the same way I did, you’re not broken either. You’re just different, and maybe you need a little extra
guidance on how to live with aliens. Don’t let anyone, ever, make you feel otherwise. Do you have a story of someone who
has helped you become a better person? Or, are you a teacher who has an inspiring story on how
to better engage your students? We love to make more videos
to help improve education, so please submit your story via the link on the screen.

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “A Teacher Saved My Life

  1. I can relate to this because I have the same problem as you it was hard to make friends I was bullied and even got death threats, so I tried to kill myself but I got help and I'm doing better I was diagnosed at 14

  2. Ok, but the artists first name is milk so…

    We just need to think about that for a moment and thank milk for their great work

  3. This is the most relatable video i've ever seen. I also have asd and a lot of the things he said are also true for me. Now i'm also in a friend group of non autistic people and they're very nice.

  4. I have ASD and it was hard social
    with people sometime people say hi to me i don't say hi to them sometime I feel dispression.

  5. I had teachers like this too! I had a high school English teacher who self disclosed her ADHD to me and she knew I had Nonverbal learning disorder and ADHD. if it wasn't for her I wouldn't be where I am today (finishing a masters degree in behavioral science)

  6. Same title, different experience:
    I was in the same situation as the protagonist, but older. I was angry, and sad, and I thought everyone hated me. We’d had a substitute teacher that day, an older Hispanic lady who had a kind face but a firm voice. She would go in depth into the topics we were learning about, relating them to life today, giving us her personal opinion, and opening the topic up for (respectful) discussion/debate. I was having an episode, and it was about time for recess. The other kids just looked at me and walked away. Even my best friend at the time left the room. But our substitute, we’ll call her Mrs M., walked over, and talked to me quietly, helping me gather my things, get up, and stop crying. She told me that she would be happy to talk to me if she was on campus and I felt like this again. On that day I decided that not everyone resented me, that I had at least some worth. Whenever Mrs M would sub for our class, which was quite often in the following year, I would engage in conversation with her, asking advice, telling her about the most interesting book I’d read recently, whatnot. One day, I asked my teacher, ‘When will Mrs M be subbing for us again?’. My teacher, told me, ‘PickleTheDragon4 8, Mrs M died a short time ago.’ I was devastated. I never got the chance to thank her. I don’t know if she knew how much she impacted me, because things before that faithful day were escalating quickly. Every day, I regret not telling her how much she helped me, how much she’d done for me.
    Edit: Writing this made me cry. Probably gonna get buried, too.

  7. Everyone of us have a special teacher who not just teach school syllabus but more than the school itself.
    If you open up your mind & engaged in certain special teacher, he or she will show what you are for the whole world. This teacher may not successful in teaching or life but will lead a door way for you to face the world beyond school compound
    This is also true for me
    My high school chemistry teacher , Mr Koh.
    He not only save my chemistry lesson but learn much life lessons that I still hold on as my values

  8. The school system just expects everyone to be the same and normal. We really need more teachers like this who actually understand that people are different instead of treating students like robots who all learn the same. If we had more teachers like this, the school system would he better.

  9. Hey Dude ! I'm almost 30 Anyway that's some good advice that people need to follow and I need to follow , Anyway I have autism just like you and I have normal friends and friends that have autism and also recently my favorite teacher passed away and it made me sad and I 'm still sad about it but I'm getting better and better each day passing.🚽🚽🚽😿😿😿💔 😱

  10. This is why we need more people like that teacher!
    We just need at least one person to be their for us to give us hope and not many people believe that normally some parents think their child is normal but in reality we are all unique!

  11. We diden´t fin out that I had asperger syndrome until I was 20. It wasent easy. I had no friends, and wantet to be alone for most of the time. But NO! My parents forced me to be with kids I diden´t like. And do activities I wasent intrested in. I could not stand up for my self, I would cry for no reason and get bullied for it. I also have a big fantacy, and that diden´t help. I was telling stories to the few friends I had. One of them, told me to wright it down and I did. since I was 11 years old, I have made many fantasies over the years and wright what I want. My parents diden´t want me to live in a fantasy world and told me to be with my class mates. Going to new schools diden´t help eider. It was just a new place with new class mates that discoverd a new persen to torment. I Was given drugs that was suposted to help me consentrate, but is gave me years of stress. If I wasent at a place an hour befor it opend og startet, I would be panicing. that was my life for 7 years. When I was 17, I stoped using the drugs and eventuly calmed down. I struggle to consentrate, but I am calm. My parents was not happy about that. They ment I nided the drugs, but I said no. When I was 18, I was no longer in school and began workin in a stable. It was amazing, for I was working alone and there where horses everywhere. But I was just an aprantece in that place and could not work there forever. Finding a job, was hard. Especelig since I diden´t wanna move away. I was scared.

     One thay I was with a friend who have two sons with asperger, she said that I might have it. I talked to my mom about it, and to my shock, she said she belived me. My little sister was going thrue som things and they discoverd that she have asperger and many of the signhs they wend thrue, she saw in me. I got it shect out, and we discoverd I am just inside the sircel, my sister is way worse than I am. I was 20 at the time and finely had an explanichion of what was wrong with me. Nothing! My mom got more understanding, still a bicht, but beter.

    After a year, I was offerd a job in a stable in Sweden. It was scary for me, but we have family down there that helped me with everything. I moved down and worked very hard and discoverd it was hard work for almost no money and bad living. Our house nided and upgrade, badly! We got mouse in the house and no internet, an wery old stove. To say it simlpe, it sucked. We worked 9.5 hours every thay, and one day off. I workt my ass of for 8 mondtes, and got a new job i Norway. It was in a stable too, but little more money and beter job hours (8) Even though my time in sweden was hard, it helped me alot. It helped me to live alone, (with roommates) but still. I am stronger now, I don´t cry as mutch. Only when some thing really go down hill. Now I have a job and i still wright mye books. I have send some in to be real books, but no one like them, yet. I know I wanna be a writher and I will make that come true one day. Nothing is impossible. I am going to be my self and do what I love and be the happy optimistic person I am. I am 24 years old and following my dreams. You can have more then one dream, I have plenty and more to come. Be your self, alweys

  12. Love this story, I have a learning difference and as result I was made fun of in high school, and the school special education program was a joke some students had Severe mental and behavioral problems they disrupted class and made it hard to learn.

  13. 1:48 thats me i have asd and i didn't get help till i was 11. I was a level 4 at maths when i should of been a 11. For English i was a 9. Now im 13 and 13 past my age thanks to one teacher

  14. It just goes to show that modern day school systems don't care about what's in a student's best interest, the people that run the system just want the student to do what THEY think is right. And that's why the system fails miserably, just like the students that couldn't get the help from the school they needed

  15. I am once a preschool teacher..😊 i used to have a 5 years old student with aspeger..he cant communicate with others at all..there are times when he throw his tantrum, n he only speak english (english is not my 1st language) n he speak like cartoon characters (using their tone n script)..

    Sometimes he pinched me, scratched me, bite me, kicked me n many more…but i know he s different, so i bear with it..i want to learn how he feels, but im not an experts..he d been with me for a year n moved to special school..in school back then, he always want me near to him..my principal said he felt save with me by his side…

    I love how he hug me suddenly..he was such a lovely kid but people treat him bad..i hope people out there will help them with no prejudice..

    Sorry for my bad english..hv a nice day😊

  16. This hit home when he he talked about his condition. Having grown up with the same thing. And believe me, speaking alien is only half of the story. Some times it would feel my own family were different from me.

  17. Itz really a sweet story.. I'm sure by watching this video will give a motivation to all.. 😊😊😊😊😊😊

  18. This is sorta like me i have melt-downs now that i think about it thats why i dont have friends. Iv also been a person that doesn`t understand the memes and trends all around me. Now i just realize what my childhood could of been without thoes outburst. Because kids were afraid of me and didnt want to talk to me they wouldnt pay much attention to me rather talk with their friends. Im 13 now im a teen iv told myself its time to stop getting angry over people and things and to stop throwing stuff at people or things. I need to speak out.

  19. My younger brother has aspergers and my parents never set him apart from us. Yes he was different, but we all learnt how to get along. Sometimes i had to fight for him. But he made it in life. He studies chemicals and will soon raise his level. I'm proud of him

  20. If I knew his school, I would report that school. Biased biased and just biased! What a horrible principal! When I’m angry 😡 I wish for their deaths and that is what I feel now!

  21. I have severe ADHD and had teachers in the past try to force me to focus instead of encouraging me to be interested. I got terrible grades and everyone said I was weird and mentally unstable. Until I met my 3rd grade teacher. Mrs. Olson. She was the most kind and paitient person I have ever met and said on the first day that, “we are all unique and can all succeed in the things we are passionate about”. She never got angry when I couldn’t sit still and instead talked with me to help me calm down. I went from a F and C student to a strait A student all because of her patience and belief in me. Thank you for these incredible teachers that take time and effort so that a kid can succeed in life

  22. I have aspergers syndrom to ,and i can relate to this story so much😁❤️ I got my diagnoses when i was 15 years old. Before i knew i have autism i just think that i was strange, and that i was the only one in the hole world ho felt like this and was like me. Now i know that i am not the only one after i met my bff💕🌸 now i am 17 years old.

  23. Just basically typing about a guy I met that had aspergers, I know not everyone with this disability is like him but as soon as I hear the word aspergers, I think of this guy. FYI, it's a really long story lol.

    I knew a guy online who has aspergers. He was such a narcissist though. He usually used it as an excuse to verbally attack me, and other people. He was also a pedophile, manipulative, and me being 13 when I met him, I experienced that pretty well. He started by convincing me that I had aspergers as well and that I'm a horrible person somehow if I didn't have it. Then he started grooming me basically and told me that I was the only person under age that he had feelings for. Though he lived in a totally different country than me, I ended up having feelings for him. He was in his late 30s when I started talking to him, and eventually I exposed myself to him on camera because I thought thathe was the one for me, and also he got mad because I was too shy to at first and I wanted him to be happy.

    He practically had me wrapped around his finger, I defended him to my mom when she would try to get us to stop talking, kept everything we did or talked about a secret, and I put up with his verbal abuse with the thought that it was only because he had aspergers, he didn't mean it. Until I was 17, he had went through different girl friends and would dump them after getting them pregnant and I was losing my feelings for him. One day his last ex messaged me telling me about what he said to her and all. I decided to tell her what he did to me, I told her everything and that it was probably a good thing they split up because she had a young daughter. She went straight to him and told him everything I said, so he told me off and we stopped being friends. He would then send people to ask me about him and if I told the truth he would go straight to my mom telling her he would call the cops or something. Eventually she told him off and he stopped bothering me.

    A few years later I saw an article about him, he was reported to the police for having sex with a minor on camera with his girlfriend at the time, and they found a lot of child porn on his computer.

    Now a days I'm fine with it. I can protect my daughters from things like that because I experienced it, and I know now that I don't have aspergers, I have social anxiety, but even if I was normal that would still be perfectly fine.

  24. I ad a teacher who found out I was suicidal and he forced me to get help. I like to believe he saved my life. He knew I'd refuse if given the choice to accept help (because that's a common mindset when you wanna die, that you don't want help) so he made sure I got the help i needed. So thanks Mr. H so much ♥️

  25. Well at least you had that one teacher. I been struggling and didnt find out I had aspergers until I was 27. The outcome was good but we still have issues.

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