West Hills, CA | 17
2013 Award Recipient
Ido Kedar lives with non-verbal autism. Growing up, he could not communicate and was presumed to have very limited comprehension. At the age of seven, when his mother held her hand over his to address birthday invitations, she noticed that he was writing independently under her hand. This breakthrough led Ido down a unique educational path that enabled him to communicate. Today, Ido uses an iPad to express himself freely. Eager to help his peers escape their own “silent prisons,” Ido began a written journal. Ido’s book, “Ido in Autismland,” represents his effort to help change the way parents, educators, and researchers think about severe autism. Ido has pushed himself beyond his comfort zone to share his story with UCLA Medical School students, at Autism Society events, and at numerous other forums. He collaborates with the Moses-Aaron Cooperative, which pairs speaking teens with non-verbal autistic youth so their written words can be shared aloud. Ido in Autismland has been assigned as required reading in California State University, Northridge education classes. Ido also blogs regularly to reach an ever-expanding audience of autistic individuals, parents, and professionals to inspire and educate.
Advocates for teens who, like Ido himself, are non-verbal autistic. Ido works to help them “find a way out of their silence” by challenging conceptions about their potential and by supporting new educational tools.