Shuswap man wants to inspire autistic community with TED Talk

Brody Butts will be speaking on self advocacy for people with autism

A young Salmon Arm man’s ideas on self advocacy for those with autism will be broadcast around the world in the form of a TED Talk.

Brody Butts,who is studying science at Thompson Rivers University (TRU), will be speaking at the TEDx TRU conference on Saturday, March 9.

Butts’ talk will deal with the ways he has advocated for himself during his educational career in order to access services that allow him to achieve his full potential. He said he will also detail how self advocacy can play a role in other people’s lives, particularly those who are on the autism spectrum.

“Being a young adult with autism, I’ve gone through middle school and high school with my diagnosis,” Butts said.

Read More: Salmon Arm student earns Trevor Linden scholarship

Through resources such as a speech language pathologist and learning resource teachers at school, Butts learned ways to advocate for himself.

Butts said he knew university would be a lot different than high school. He has found he doesn’t have to deal with the negativity he experienced from some other students in high school, but when it comes to classes there ares still challenges to be overcome.

Butts said without advocating for himself with TRU’s accessibility staff he wouldn’t be able to perform academically at the level he does.

Read more: Founder of Me Too movement speaks in Kelowna

“I sometimes need a little bit of extra time to do handwritten assignments. For my tests and exams TRU has an alternate setting, a testing centre, so when I need that extra time I’m able to go in there and get that extra time that I need to actually finish my exams,” he said.

Butts has sensory processing disorder which causes him to write very slowly by hand. He said he has to press very hard into the paper when writing.

“It actually sends pain up my arm to the extent that I have to take a long time and stop writing. If I push too hard and I’m writing for a long time sometimes it can take me 10 to 20 minutes in order to regain that strength in my writing hand,”

Butts said by advocating for himself, he can get extensions for quizzes and exams which allow him to show his professors what he is truly capable of.

Read More: Salmon Arm student makes short-list for B.C. Excellence in Autism Awards

After completing his undergrad, Butts hopes to go to med school. He thinks the public speaking experience he is getting through TEDx will be a valuable asset in his career.

“Public speaking has become a really big part of me when before it was something that I thought I could never do,” Butts said.

He said he used to fidget and get anxious when speaking in public but by pushing himself he has improved.

Butts feels speaking at TEDx TRU is both a great opportunity for him and a chance to empower others in the autistic community.

All of the TEDx TRU talks will be broadcast on TEDx’s website and Youtube channel.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton woman to ‘load up the cart’ with toys for local hospital

Pascale-Ann Demers launched a GoFundMe to upgrade the toy supply at Penticton Regional Hospital

Cannery Brewing’s patio expansion plans delayed by COVID-19

Once open, the new patio will look quite different than originally planned

Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

After nearly two months closure, playgrounds are set to reopen

Long-time South Okanagan principal retires, another takes the helm

Jeff Redden will start as principal of Naramata Elementary School in August

100 miles in 24 hours: a B.C. man’s mission to support the less fortunate

Merritt’s Darius Sam felt he needed to help his community after an encounter with a struggling woman

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Flood watch for Salmon River upgraded as high temperatures, rain forecast

Shuswap Emergency Program warns residents to prepare now for possible extreme flooding

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

RCMP request public’s help in locating missing Salmon Arm man

Ken Derkach is a familiar face to many, one of the city’s residents who is without a home

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Drunk man on a dirt bike and prohibited drivers without insurance keep Shuswap RCMP busy

Other calls resulted in excessive speed tickets and the arrests of two prohibited drivers

Most Read