I have been overwhelmed by so many positive comments, posts and shares on Facebook about the last blog entry on Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) and Ben‘s powerful words. I can’t wait to share your comments with Ben when I see him on Tuesday. Ben has repeatedly communicated a desire to help other nonspeaking people find their voice. I suspect he will be very pleased to know that his voice has been heard and received with such compassion. I promise to report his reaction back to you!
Today, I would like to introduce you to Huan. Huan is another client who is using RPM and the letter board to communicate. I started using RPM with Huan in September. He has steadily moved from choosing responses on paper, to spelling individual words, spelling short phrases, answering questions about cognitive lessons, and now open communication using the letter board. Huan and Ben are both applying to the youth summit for people with disabilities. Huan wrote this application essay on the letter board over two sessions. My sincere gratitude to Huan and his family who have consented to let me share his story and his words!
I AM HUAN. I AM SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD. I AM REALLY EXCITED TO APPLY TO THIS SUMMT. I WANT MY VOICE TO BE HEARD ON ISSUES REGARDING INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. MY DISABILITY IS THAT I CANNOT SPEAK IN A WAY THAT LETS ME EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATE. I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO HAVE MEANINGFUL INTERACTIONS WITH OTHERS BECAUSE I WAS NOT ABLE TO TALK. NOW I CAN TALK USING THE LETTER BOARD. IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER.
MY LIFE HAS BEEN LONELY AND FRUSTRATING BECAUSE I COULD NOT TELL PEOPLE HOW I FELT ABOUT ANYTHING SO I WAS LEFT OUT. I COULD NOT FORM MEANINGFUL FRIENDSHIPS BECAUSE I CAN’T TALK VERY WELL. MY EDUCATION HAS BEEN UNFULFILLING BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER BEEN CHALLENGED AT SCHOOL.
NOW MY LIFE IS HAPPIER BECAUSE I CAN TALK USING THE LETTER BOARD. NOW I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE WITH PEOPLE IN A NEW WAY. I HAVE A CHANCE TO HAVE A REAL FRIENDSHIP WHERE I CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE CONVERSATION. PERHAPS I CAN NOW PURSUE GIVING TO SOCIETY INSTEAD OF SOCIETY LOOKING AT ME AS A BURDEN. MOST IMPORTANTLY, I WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO ACCESS AGE APPROPRIATE CURRICULUM. I AM EAGER TO LEARN ABOUT EVERYTHING MY SAME AGED PEERS ARE LEARNING. I KNOW THAT I AM CAPABLE OF LEARNING ANYTHING.
I HOPE THAT MY VOICE WILL BE HEARD. I HAVE BEEN SILENT FOR TOO LONG. NOW I HAVE TO SPEAK FOR THOSE WHO ARE STILL STUCK IN SILENCE.
Huan’s words are always gentle and thought provoking. I find myself thinking about his words for days after our sessions. I am humbled by how much I have to learn from Huan and other nonspeaking clients who are no longer silent. Thank you for joining us on this beautiful journey!