I am in here.
Mark Utter is a man with autism who uses facilitated communication to express his true thoughts. Misunderstood for years, he and Emily Anderson are using facilitated communication to create a poignant and witty film that reveals Mark’s unique observations of our world which have been trapped in his head for a long time.
Please read the following interview from Seven Days: An Interview With Mark Utter via Facilitated Communication
SEVEN DAYS: Do you remember the first time you realized you wanted to express yourself but couldn’t?
MARK UTTER: I remember knowing I could think in a way that the people in my life assumed I could not.
SD: What was that like?
MU: It was weird. They insisted I was stupid. It also gave me some freedom from normal life that many of you jabberers would have loved.
SD: When you were growing up, how were you treated by your peers and classmates?
MU: I was treated with respect by the others who were different. People who were normal were always happy with my outward presentation of jolliness.
SD: Were you ever institutionalized or sent away from home?
MU: No, I have always lived with my mother who has been treating me like a little boy all these years. I love her dearly.
SD: When you first started facilitated communication, what was the first thing you wanted to say, and to whom?
MU: I wanted to tell my story so I guess I was waiting for Emily to be ready to have another FC friendship.
SD: Once you began FC, was your family surprised by all that was going on inside your head?
MU: I think it is hard for people to adjust their ways of thinking toward the ones in their care.
SD: Do you typically remember your dreams at night?
SD: What are you like in your dreams?
MU: I can talk with everyone but I don’t use spoken words and they don’t either.
SD: What’s your favorite place to be?
MU: Currently it’s right next to Emily because there I have developed the voice I need to address the people who are working on this project with us.
SD: What’s your favorite activity when you have nothing else to do?
MU: I like to wander around in my mind which is quite an elaborate place.
SD: Have you ever been in love?
MU: Yes, I love life and feel there is much room for people to expand to allow it to fill the holes in their hearts.
EMILY ANDERSON: Do you think you will ever be in a relationship?
EA: Is that OK?
MU: Yes, my life was meant for other pursuits.
SD: You seem like such a happy person all the time, despite your disability. How do you stay so upbeat?
MU: First, I don’t think of myself as disabled, which gives me a stronger foundation than those who have fallen into that trap. I am happy because, like Abraham Lincoln, I know “You are only as happy as you allow yourself to be.”
SD: If you could accomplish one thing by the end of your life that would make you feel happy, what would it be?
MU: I want to make sure that Emily is celebrated for believing in people who are different. I also hope that the barriers between people melt. I will assist that big goal with world tours of [this] movie and talks about communication.
SD: Anything else you want to say that I didn’t ask about?
MU: Folks, we need money to make this possible; please attend our fundraisers or donate to our Kickstarter campaign.
This could be an amazing film but needs money to make it possible. Another interview with Mark, below:
Audience (A) -How do you communicate best?
Mark (M) -We want to address that in our next movie.
A- Do you have lots of projects planned?
A- You deal with our world in your movie. What can we learn about yours?
Pascal- There is just one world.
M- We are in the same world but the limitations I have had make me have access to different ways of understanding things.
A- What is the way you work best in the world?
M-Thank you, Russ. Yes, I work best communicating with energy. It is what guides our hearts.
A- Do you think we live too quickly?
M- I think the world moves too fast but each person can slow down. When Emily started meditating our work got better.