I am a mother to twin boys who are nonspeakers and spellers. For many years, life seemed daunting. It felt like everything with Autism was always a fight. My husband and I were growing tired and weary. We wondered if we would ever get to know our boys, really know them. Then we came upon Spelling to Communicate (S2C). It changed EVERYTHING for our boys and our family. We finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I began to build what my boys needed to thrive and stepped into my "ikigai" (Japanese concept for 'reason for being') - my purpose. Now I won't stop until every nonspeaker has access to S2C for communication, a very basic human right.
For ten years, my twin boys were categorized as cognitively functioning at a significantly lower level than their age and of their peers. They were labeled as "severely Autistic". Noah was labeled as "nonverbal" and Caleb was labeled as "minimally speaking".
In March of 2020, Noah was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance from school for what looked like a seizure. Scared out of my mind, I made a phone call from the ambulance to a friend wiser beyond my years whom I thought would know what to do or at least have a contact. He DID have a contact but that wasn't all that I received from our call. He told me that it wasn't going to make complete sense to me right now and to focus on my emergency visit at the hospital but that he had been doing a new therapy with his son (who had also been labeled "severely Autistic"). He told me to speak to Noah as if he understood everything I am saying and to walk him through everything even if he didn't respond or look like he was listening. He told me he would follow up with me once we get out of the ER to share more about the therapy he was doing with his son. I did as he told me to and we had a relatively successful ER visit. Before this, I had vaguely heard about this new therapy my friend had started from our mutual friend who had only just begun it as well with her son. When the dust had settled, I decided to give it a try. We got on a zoom call (since it was the middle of 2020) with the one and only, Elizabeth Vosseller, who changed our world forever. After a few months, we drove from New Jersey to Virginia to see her in person for our out of town appointments. To say my husband and I were mind blown is an understatement.
Our precious boys were in there!
They could comprehend everything we were saying...
They had thoughts, ideas, feelings!
They were engaged and learning age appropriate material and responding!
That is where our entire world changed and we haven't looked back since.
S2C single handedly changed the way that we view Autism and my boys. It changed the way we interact with each other and it improved our relationship. We finally had the opportunity to help our boys communicate and have their voice heard.
I, simultaneously, was able to watch my two friends who were in the same doom and gloom boat as I had been when we thought our kids were "nonverbal" (Latin meaning: without words) blossom into fully communicating nonspeakers (exquisitely FULL of words)!!! Can you say, AMAZING?! So this works for EVERY nonspeaker!? YES! My friend went on to write a book WITH his son that has now inspired many, many families... You can read that book: HERE.
Our lives have never been the same since.
The best part?
Your child can do this too.