I have a friend who lives in Owensburg. His name is Sam Mitchell, and I admire him greatly. He’s only 18 years old, but has the wisdom of someone much older. Sam has autism and that’s only part of what makes him so special to me. Today, you’ll notice a story about Sam on our front page. I wrote the story as an update on his journey with his podcast, “Autism Rocks and Rolls,” hosted on Podbean. He has surpassed all expectations with this venture, reaching nearly 5,000 downloads since he started in October 2019. The first time I talked to Sam, he had accomplished much already. He had six episodes available and I remember him being so excited that his podcast had been downloaded 475 times. He had 84 followers then and now has 259. This guy.....
Chatting with Sam and his mom, Gina, who works as a teacher at Eastern Greene Middle School, was like taking a long drink of cold water after sitting in the sun all day, refreshing, fulfilling and good for you. I think the world has so much to learn about autism and Sam is the perfect teacher. Just like his mother goes to work every day to teach her students, Sam sits down every 16 to 21 days to record another episode, enlightening listeners about what it’s like living with autism. He talks about his experiences, explains why people on the spectrum are the way they are and offers very valuable insight into the thoughts and feelings of people who have a hard time expressing both. He isn’t scared to tackle almost any subject and he is passionate about “normalizing” autism and helping other people understand it. He wants no pity, no sympathy, just a little of your attention while he says what he needs to say.
Sam Mitchell, you are my hero. You’re a part of the solution, not a part of the problem, and you are making the world a better place. Keep up the good work, kid.
Patti is Editor of the Greene County Daily World. She loves to laugh and also loves kitties. She’s kind of weird but has a heart of gold. If you would like to share a story or just make a friend, she can be reached at email@example.com.