My Journey to Communication: A Call for Change in Schools for Nonspeakers

This blog post was written by my friend, Ben Crimm. We are advocates with Spellers and Allies at https://i-asc.org/spellers-allies/ You can visit his blog at https://aquestforwords.wordpress.com/

A Quest for Words

I am overjoyed that I have my voice. That I can tell you what I want for breakfast. That I can share my knowledge and opinions. That I can make plans and bring fun to others. That I can tell those close to me that I love them.

I was not always this lucky.

For 25 years I could not communicate any of these things. I have never been able to speak to communicate. I tried really hard but was never successful in doing so despite many years of speech therapy. I also tried a primitive PECS system a long time ago, like when I was about 7 years old. I loved flipping the laminated cards and was able to make a few sentences 4 or 5 words long. My Dad worked with me on our first computer when I was about 8 years old. Learning to keyboard was really…

View original post 1,466 more words

Featured

Meet my good friend, Josh Wong.

Josh is also a nonspeaking autistic, like me. He has learned to spell to communicate by using the RPM method. He has inspired me through his attitude of being always positive. Please read his wonderful words.

Matthew

Lean In – Written by Josh Wong
Autism is a hell of a thing. I should know, I have lived with it for nineteen years. It’s not easy sometimes to accept myself, let alone have others accept me. But autism is my gift, a gift that allows me to navigate the world in a unique way. People don’t have to be afraid of the unsure or unusual. Lean in to me, there is a whole world I can show you. Acceptance will guide the way.

AUTISTIC HEALTH – Written by Josh Wong
When many think of autism, they think of the brain. Often overlooked and misunderstood is the body. My brain and body don’t really connect well. I want my body to do lots of things but it rarely cooperates–that is very frustrating. It’s not just this disconnection that is misunderstood but also other health concerns. For most of my life, I haven’t been able to communicate my body’s aches, pains, or cramps. Thankfully my mom is very intuitive and managed my health well. I am one of the lucky ones. Most autistic health problems go untreated and undiagnosed. My hope is that we can make systemic changes to the health system to promote better care for people with disabilities. This must also accompany the presumption of competence and the acceptance of alternative communication. Together we can be the change.

Featured

Please hear my loving words

Trigger warning – sexual assault.

I am Matthew. I am a 19 year old non speaking autistic. Back in 2018 I was radically and forever changed. A mentor and friend gave me the fright of my life. He decided that it was okay to take advantage of my trusting soul. He sexually assaulted me when we stopped at a beautiful, innocent rest area. People have gone there thousands of times not knowing that innocence had been taken from that once busy spot. I was valiant in my efforts to stop him but he still managed to have his sordid way with me. It only lasted a bold minute or two, but it has scarred me for life.

Praying for healing, alone and pained, has left me feeling capable of so much that I want to help other nonspeaking people. Living proudly every day as a survivor leaves me hopeful more healing will come to me. I am looking forward to teaching others, peacefully, how to meaningfully live their loving lives with healed hearts.