Being heard

Since posting Ben’s words in Forever Changed and Huan’s words in Silent For Too Long, I have been flooded with phone calls, texts, posts and comments all expressing encouragement, wonder, empathy and accolades for Ben and Huan! WOW!  It is an absolute joy to work with these smart, kind and thoughtful young people but now that I have shared the experience with you and you have welcomed their accomplishments with open arms, that joy has increased exponentially! I work with several other amazing, insightful and witty non-speaking people who are finding their voice using Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) and the letter board. I will introduce you to them all in the coming weeks!

Successful communication requires a speaker and a listener. My clients using RPM are communicating for the first time and now you are their audience. Their words are powerful and profound. Thank you for hearing them. Thank you for the respect and attention that you are giving to their words. Thank you for your belief! Please share their words and help others understand, that non-speaking does not equal non-thinking. Non-speaking people with autism have so much to teach us. Autism has been such a mystery; I believe that the people who live with autism are in the best position to help us understand. All we have to do is listen.

I shared your comments with Ben and Huan. Both of them smiled, laughed and were positively beaming as I read your comments to them! I am pretty sure I noticed Huan blushing. Here are Ben and Huan’s responses to your kindness.

I AM OVERWHELMED BY EVERYONE’S BEAUTIFUL COMMENTS. ALL OF YOUR KIND WORDS INSPIRE ME TO KEEP WORKING TO FURTHER IMPROVE MY SKILLS ON THE LETTER BOARD. I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR ENCOURAGING WORDS. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO MY WORDS. YOUR BELIEF MEANS THE WORLD TO ME. ~Ben

I AM SO TOUCHED BY THOSE COMMENTS. I AM PROUD TO HAVE BEEN HEARD AND AM DELIGHTED WITH THIS FEEDBACK. I NEVER WOULD HAVE BELIEVED SO MANY PEOPLE WOULD HAVE CARED ABOUT WHAT I HAVE TO SAY. I AM GRATEFUL. ~ Huan

Spread a little love today, let someone know that you have heard them! ~Elizabeth

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Being heard

  1. I am reminded of this lyric: “I opened my mouth but I could not cry / In space no one can hear you scream”.

    I cry, not because this is touching, but because it is so very sad. It is sad that these boys and many others like them have had to take what they could get in terms of exposure to opportunities to learn and that their own interests, knowledge, and ideas have been locked (sealed!) inside their uncooperative bodies.

    I cry, because it is sad that so much time and money and effort has been spent in well-intentioned but misguided attempts to give them the best lives that anyone thought they could have.

    I cry, because if what is really going on here had been understood, that time and money and effort could have been directed instead in ways that would have really mattered to them, things that may have had the potential to propel them beyond their speaking contemporaries in important ways, much like Stephen Hawking has done.

    I cry, not because it is sad, but because it is truly wonderful that the minds of these boys and girls now stand a chance of being liberated, as Ben and Huan are, from a prison that has kept them silent, unable to express, unable to ask, unable to question, unable to participate in a world that could benefit so greatly from their presence.

    I cry, because they can also cry, but now we have the choice to listen.

  2. Thank you for sharing follow-up from Ben and Huan! By your intial blog, and their expression of graditutde – they have not only been heard – they have JOINED the conversation! Very exciting! Very excited to see if they can attend the I’m Determined Summit…

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