What’s in a name?
A few days ago, I asked Emma if she wanted to help me start a blog to share her thoughts. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but being the completely scattered, totally unorganized, not to mention the huge procrastinator that I am, once again I lag way behind. Did I mention PC challenged? (that’s right, wish I could say MAC) . I told her that not only would this be a great way to keep track of all the new things we are learning together through her new communication method, but it would also be a way for her to express herself and make a difference in someone’s life. Emma had told me she wanted to be a teacher – I told her she could start now! Learning more about autism is exactly what us parents are in search of…and we need more education concerning our non-verbal population. Thank God for Tito and Carly!! They have changed my whole perception of autism and given me the greatest gift I could’ve hoped for and then some – hope.
So I asked Emma: “What do you think about ‘Spectrum of love” – okay, it’s a little cheesy. “Got any ideas, Emma?”
She typed “Paper kids out of time”. – Whoa!! “What do you mean, paper kids? Like this paper keyboard..the way you communicate?”
“What do you mean by “out of time”? — it took a few tries to get her to complete the question about what this meant and the answer really floored me:
“I mean that I think I’m too old to talk”
My heart sank a little. Now, I know all about this theory, and God only knows she’s probably heard it a million times. Kids beyond the age of five rarely learn to talk. There’s some kind of theory about brain hardening..like a window and once it shuts, THAT’S IT! It serves to torture us parents with non-verbal children. Well, I just don’t know if I believe this. This thought had made me sad, feeling like the clock is winding down…running out of time. I decided long ago, not to dwell on the idea…and what do professionals know anyway? Not much about autism, since most non-verbal autistics get the big MR (mental retardation) diagnosis. Now I know that it’s BS! But what struck me is how sure Emma feels about this. She is so sure she will never talk, having mentioned it many times. What can I say, but to just encourage her? I could never know what she deals with or has gone through. I just have to tell her that anything is possible with faith hope and, above all, LOVE. Miracles can happen dammit!! So I will keep praying for her great desire to talk.
But even so, having a way to communicate with the world through the keyboard has given her so much in just one month. But that’s for another post.
So, here we are: Paper kids. I tried to lighten the mood by offering a more uplifting title “What about Emma’s World??”.
…but in the end, it should be Paper Kids, because, let’s face it, it’s a way cool title, but most of all because Emma said so.