To mark Autism Acceptance Month, Apple has introduced the world to Dillan Barmache, a non-verbal 16-year-old with autism who lives in California.
"Having autism is like being in hell," Dillan says, "and it is a lonely existence."
"Without a voice, people only see my autism and not the real me," he said.
"All my life I wanted so badly to connect with people."
Dillan's dreams came true a few years ago, however, with the help of technology. He now expresses his thoughts through his iPad, which he uses to type out sentences that are read out by special software.
His communication support aide, Deborah Spengler, said he's become a new person since he began using the technology.
"When he began typing, he said it was like being freed," Spengler said.
"As his mom, it's just the most incredible thing ever to suddenly start to hear your child's voice," Tami Barmache said. "Not being able to speak is not the same as not having something to say."
With a voice of his own, Dillan is able to share his very special life: "I get to experience the world in a very unique way. I can see the wind, hear the flowers. I can feel incredible emotions flowing from those I love."
In June 2014, Dillan went viral when he used his iPad to deliver a rousing speech at this middle school graduation.
"At school, I now can have a conversation," Dillan told Mashable. "I can share [answers to questions] with my classmates to amaze them that this totally awkward and sometimes strange guy is as smart as they are."