They say, ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’. ‘
Well I say
‘Hell hath no suffering greater than not being able to Voice your thoughts.
I mean literally. Not being able to speak or sign or communicate.
I am a Speech Language Pathologist/Therapist and I work at an excellent center that works with Children who fall in the Autism Spectrum. Now these children face a whole lot of problems but relevant to this write up we need to understand that children with autism, a lot of them and not all of them, are highly intelligent children but are unable to communicate in conventional terms i.e., are unable to speak. Now this is regarded by many experts in my field to be the result of an associated disorder called Apraxia.
In simple terms it means that though they want to talk and they have all these things they want to tell you but their mouths simply won’t co-operate.
Like you have a hand but it goes down when you want to lift it up. It hits when you want to hug.
Can you imagine every part of you doing that? Especially your mouth, because you talk with it.
Living like that, every day.
The way I see it, if you don’t know what you are missing out on it never really bothers you but that’s not the case with a lot of these children who are diagnosed with Apraxia.
They know exactly where they are failing.
They can’t tell you how excited they are, they can’t tell you they would love to talk to you , they can’t tell you they love being with you, they can’t tell you they are hungry, they can’t tell you if they learnt something new, they can’t tell you how they hate this new teacher, they can’t tell their mother that they love her, they can’t tell their siblings to bugger off if they bother them, they can’t do so many things they would love to do just like any other neurotypical child.
In turn sometimes they use alternative methods which are hugely misunderstood by almost everyone around them and they are labeled ‘dumb’.
And they realize it. Everyday.
They have their ways of dealing with it but in the long run the disappointments pile up.
They still turn up, everyday.
They are just children.
Makes me ask myself, ‘What excuse do I have for not doing my best, everyday’.
I see their sparkling eyes and the glint of mischief in their eyes when they are up to no good.I see the sheer thrill they feel when they realise they said something the right way. I see that explosion of pure mirth from them that words fail in description.
And for those few seconds, we forget that they are different.
That they lead the most misunderstood lives that can possibly be lead. Everyday.
I give a huge salute to the parents , teachers and all those people who are out there doing their best to make sure these children achieve the best of their potential . And I applaud their efforts every step of the way.
In our field we are trained to be empathetic. And strictly told not to be sympathetic, and after a few years ,you kind of get the hang of it. Kind of. Never quite fully. We are just human after all.
When we go on our daily lives taking so much for granted I only wish that no one looses this one ability- To say what they want to.
Because no matter what goes wrong or right, as human beings we are hard wired to share. It’s what connects us and forms our humanity. It’s what shapes our identity as individuals in this world.It is one ability we wouldn’t trade for anything else.
With a heavy heart,