Population One: Autism, Adversity, and the Will to Succeed
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In the Skies with Superman

Superman is one of the most iconic superheroes of all time. Super strength, super hearing, heat vision, X-ray vision, freeze breath, and all those powers he uses to protect the people in his adopted planet Earth.

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. The infant of Krypton is now the Man of Steel: Superman! To best be in a position to use his amazing powers in a never-ending battle for truth and justice, Superman has assumed the disguise of Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper.


Superman is above everyone in his adoptive planet, and yet he poses as a newspaper reporter when disguising himself as Clark Kent. No one knows who Superman really is. He’s in one place, and he’s somewhere else saving the world.

When I was really young, I’d say 5, Superman gave me a special drink that made me have his super powers for 24 hours. I decided to follow Superman up in the skies like a bird or a plane. I asked him what it’s like to be Superman, and he said that being himself is not perfect. I got confused and told him that he saves people and has everything people don’t have. He replied to me saying “I may be from planet Krypton, but I am nothing different from these people. I was hurt when my planet was destroyed with my family in it.” Then, once we went to his Fortress of Solitude, he showed me a giant book he wrote using heat vision. It was his journal, and in it is full of memories. Memories of his adventures, and what he learned while growing up. He showed me:

Live as one of them, Kal-El, to discover where your strength and your power are needed. Always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you… my only son.


“Kal-El? Who’s that Superman?”

“I’ve known him for a long long time. He is me.”

“I thought your name is Clark Kent.”

“In my adopted planet Earth, people call me Clark Kent. But my real Kryptonian name is Kal-El. In order for me to fit in with the world, I must blend in with these people as a newspaper reporter for Metropolis.”

After hearing that, Superman dashed out of his base saving Metropolis from a bank robbery faster than a speeding bullet. I looked all over his fortress wondering why he’s the only one of his kind. It seemed kind of sad being by himself and yet he’s loved by millions. As I looked around more in his fortress, I saw a picture of Lois Lane.

“Beautiful woman isn’t she?” said Superman as he floats down.

“Yes. She is.”

“Have you ever been in love?”

“I have. I wish I could be with her… but-”

“What’s wrong my boy?”

“I… I have autism, and she doesn’t. Autistic people can’t be with others.”

Superman then takes me up to space and let’s me see the stars while above earth.

“I have said the same thing over and over again when I was your age. I do not have autism like you do, but I myself am different from the world. I come from another planet. I was a stranger. Know this Tyler and you will never be alone in the universe.”

As we go down back to earth, I saw danger! An airplane was going down in flames. With my X-Ray vision, I saw people scared, and it made me think “This looks like a job for Superman.” With Superman by my side, we stopped the flames with our superhuman breath and landed the plane safely on a field. Saving that plane made me feel more powerful than a locomotive. The people were cheering for joy that Superman came in and saved the day but then asked “Who are you little guy?” “I’m just a friend” said I, and we brought everyone to their homes safely.

Later on, I began to loose my power. The 24 hours were running out on that special power drink. Before I went home, Superman showed me one more thing in his journal.

You will travel far, my little Kal-El. But we will never leave you… even in the face of our death. The richness of our lives shall be yours. All that I have, all that I’ve learned, everything I feel… all this, and more, I… I bequeath you, my son. You will carry me inside you, all the days of your life. You will make my strength your own, and see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father, and the father the son. This is all I… all I can send you, Kal-El.


“If I could see my real father and my mother from Krypton once again, my life would be different. I would be like everyone else in my world. But even though I’m a stranger here on Earth I am never alone. The son becomes the father, and the father the son. In my Fortress of Solitude, I am in contact with my father Jor-El. Are you alone in your world?”

“…No, I’m… not.”

“Very good, and you don’t need my powers to prove your abilities to the universe. Before you run out of power, what would you like to do?”

I thought about it for a moment and came up with a brilliant idea. I went to Sweden using my super speed and picked strawberries. Then I used my super human breath to blow a dark rain cloud over the Fortress of Solitude. Then, using my freeze breath, I froze all of the rain drops into snow, gathered them all up, and made 2 snowballs. Then, with the strawberries, I juiced them on the snowballs. I made snow cones! One for me, and one for Superman. Then after finishing off my snow cone, I began to feel cold again and dropped out of the sky. I lost my super powers. It’s a good thing Superman grabbed me before landing on the hard crystals, otherwise I’d get hurt.

In the skies, I thanked Superman for teaching me amazing stories of his past and a big part of his life on what it means to be him. He took me home, and I waved goodbye.

He has all that power, and all the troubles he faced, yet he learned one of the greatest powers of them all; his self control. That’s one of the reasons why he is known to have super strength. Not on lifting heavy things, but the pure strength of his heart.

Friends, I wish I could say that this was all true, but it turned out to be a dream.

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