Today was a remarkable day. Today I learned that Owen reads words. Today Owen typed sentences to tell about his thoughts and feelings.
If you watched the process by which these words were brought to birth, you would very likely be skeptical. And I would understand your skepticism. I felt divided in half for much of the day, both weeping as I listened to my son’s mind emerging, and yet… skeptical. Incredulous.
At the beginning of learning typing to communicate, the support person must hold the typer’s hand, and no one looking at that process could tell who was doing what, esspecially with my son’s wriggling, twisting, grabbing for things and having to be redirected, again and again to focus, to come back to it, to finish telling us what he wanted to say.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. We are asking a person who has always been defined by his behaviors, by his outside, by his dis-ability, to be now reveal to us his abilities and to be defined by what is inside his head and his heart. It’s a big ask. It will take time.
But watch videos for yourself. I have seen now (at Marilyn’s presentation tonight) how the children, teens, adults who have been typing to speak for a long time do so with very little support. A hand at the shoulder, at the elbow.
Tomorrow Edward and I will have more lessons in talking with Owen. Learning the method. Baby steps. Don’t think too far into the future, just take “the very next step,” Marilyn says.
So – here we go.