Chapter 1 - This Is Tyler

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This Is Tyler

Meet Tyler Johnson. He's 17 years old and lives in Boca Raton, Florida. He is described as shy, African American, tall and thin. His favorite things to do are play sports, reading, writing and studying mathematics. He's also smart, bright, kind, loving and funny.

He also goes to Lakewood High School and has a loving mom named Claire and a sister named Michelle.

His Daily Routine

He gets up every morning at 6:00am, eats his breakfast, brushes his teeth, gives his mother and sister a kiss on the cheek and then heads out to door to start off his day right. If there's any changes made to his routine, Tyler gets very upset and then starts to have a meltdown.

Tyler would sometimes walks down the hallways with his head down because he is very shy and doesn't like to look people in the eyes when talking.  He always find himself dealing with Chad, the school bully, who likes to make fun of him because he's autistic. 

He mocked the way Ty acted walking with his head and how he would speak with a soft voice. 

Chad mockingly says to Tyler, "Look at me. I'm Tyler and I'm autistic". He continued with, "I like to walk around with head down all the time and not look at people in the eyes because I'm just a shy little boy".

What is Tyler gonna do now? Is he going to defend himself or just say nothing at all?

Ty Stands Up for What's Right

Tyler defended himself saying, "Stop it, Chad! Just stop it! Mocking someone with a disability is not right and it needs to stop today. I may have autism, but autism doesn't have me. It doesn't define who I am as a person. Sure, I mean, sometimes I may be a little shy or walk around with my head down. Or even to the point where I don't look into the people's eyes whenever I'm talking, but that's okay. That's just me being me.

Chad couldn't believe what he was hearing and seeing from Tyler

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Chad couldn't believe what he was hearing and seeing from Tyler.  All he could do was say nothing.  He was both shocked and amazed at the same time.

"Any more questions, Chad?" said Tyler with his hands on his hip.

"And for the record, I am not that same little boy that you used picked on when I was young.  I like to consider myself as young man who has big dreams just like everyone else".

Then, Tyler walked away feeling confident for the first time in his life. He felt like a breath of fresh air after what he had did to Chad.

A Boost of Confidence

Later that day, Tyler came home with a big smile on his face. His sister Michelle asked him, "How was your day at school, Ty?"

"Today was beautiful, Mish! I finally had the strength to defend myself against Chad".

"Oh, Chad. You mean, the guy that would always bully you at school?" asked Michelle.

Tyler nods his head "yes".

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