A Desire to Learn

a desire to learn

By Sarah Ackerman

It is a new year
I want to learn more
Please welcome me in
And open the door.

Have an open mind
And a kind heart too
You will be impressed 
By all I can do.

Continuing my education
Is something I yearn
There is so much
I desire to learn.

I am seeking a school
That will include me
And understands I am more
That what they can see.

I am finding myself 
In a tough spot
It is hard for nonspeakers
We are challenged a lot.

I want to take classes
In person at school
I am very capable
Make acceptance the rule!
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Seek Out the Snowman

Going to Grandma’s house to celebrate the holidays. Grandma’s home is filled with memories of my childhood. It gives me comfort as I look around at the pictures of our family.

Love is always there in every photo. I remember each event with so much detail. My perception is really keen and allows me to relive the experience again in my mind like I was there. I am appreciative of having a family that always included me at holiday celebrations. I love having my family around.

Even if I don’t initiate conversation, I want you to talk to me and give me the opportunity to communicate with you. My communication device and partner are needed for this. As a nonspeaker with autism and apraxia, it is difficult for me to make a request with spoken language. My spoken words are limited and do not always reflect my desires or intellect.

Reach out and invite me to be a part of the conversation. Allow me to participate with my communication device and partner. I want to be a part of the discussion. My body may not look like I am interested, but I am listening and comprehending all you say. I love to hear how you’re doing and to learn the latest news about you. It makes me happy when I am included.

Visiting with Grandma is a holiday tradition. It gives me much joy. I remember when I was young and making a snowman. Life was simple, and I was treated like all other children. Life is more complex now, but the importance of inclusion remains the same. To be a part of a loving family is the best!

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto on Pexels.com

Wish for a Fish

wish for a fish

By Sarah Ackerman

I went out fishing
For the very first time
Rod in my hand
And bait on the line.

I sat in a chair
On the flat landing dock
So calm and relaxing
No need for a clock.

The lake was serene
And the water was still
The leaves had turned color
And the air had a chill.

Out popped a turtle
Who emerged to peek out
The fish stayed in water
Did not catch a trout.

I loved going fishing
On that beautiful fall day
I hope that more chances
Will soon come my way!
Photo by Tomasz Filipek on Pexels.com

Time for a Spell

Time for Halloween. Time for trick-or-treat. Time to face the scary night.

Halloween is just one night a year. Nonspeakers face the scare of being misjudged and not being understood all year long.

It is frightening when people cannot comprehend what you are trying to express. Communication is critical in everyday life. It is essential that individuals have a means of sharing their feelings, needs, and thoughts.

I spell to communicate. I need a letterboard or keyboard. These allow me to communicate effectively and genuinely. There is nothing scary about it.

Halloween is a time for sweet treats. To be able to communicate with a method of one’s choosing is the best treat of all!

Photo by u0410u043bu0435u043au0441u0430u043du0434u0430u0440 u0426u0432u0435u0442u0430u043du043eu0432u0438u045b on Pexels.com

A Final Salute

A final salute

By Sarah Ackerman

He was a wise man
I loved going there
A story to hear
A life history to share.

So many milestones 
He celebrated in life
With family and friends
He's now with his wife.

He served our country
During wartime years
He helped our soldiers
Now I shed my tears.

I remember the day
I said my goodbye
As kind words were shared
With the sun in the sky.

I will miss you Grandpa
I did love you so
You are in my heart
Wherever I go.
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Social in the Summer

August is the end of summer. It is a time to reflect and rejuvenate. For me, it is a time to get recharged.

I had a great summer. I was able to go many places and see friends and family. It was so good to finally see people who I had been connecting with virtually.

Many of my friends have not been able to see each other over the pandemic. I am grateful to have friends who live locally.

Friends are so special. The best part is being able to communicate with our letterboards and keyboards. We have the same conversations as everyone else. There is respect and tolerance.

Finding friends is a challenge for nonspeakers. Getting together needs to be arranged by caretakers or family. Communication partners must be present to support us and we need communication devices. Arranging this for us takes time and effort, but it is so important and appreciated.

A perk to being a nonspeaker is having great listening skills. Being in a conversation requires both receptive and expressive communication. A lot of being a friend is about understanding what the other person is sharing.

Friends make people feel loved and connected. Nonspeakers want friends just like everyone else. Befriend a nonspeaker in your life!

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

The Power of In-Person

The Motormorphosis Conference is an annual event during which nonspeakers gather to address issues that affect them. This year it took place in person after two years of Zoom. It was great to meet the people that I had only seen virtually.

There is a misconception that autistics prefer to avoid social situations. I love to be with my friends and family. Being with people makes me happy. Even though I cannot carry out a conversation like my speaking friends and family members, I am hearing and understanding all that is being said to me.

Are you aware that nonspeakers can read people’s body language? We can sense if a person is being sincere. This helps us to know that we are being respected. When I am in the presence of other nonspeakers, I feel comfortable knowing that I am accepted for for who I am.

It is wonderful to connect with others. Whether they are neurotypical or nonspeaking, it is good to be able to get together!

Photo by John Cahil Rom on Pexels.com

Sign on to Dads

Sign on to Dads

by Sarah Ackerman

Dads are great
I love my dad
He is the best
I am so glad.

A father loves 
And cares a lot
He's always there
To cross each dot.

When times are good
Or when they're rough
He stays so strong
A positive tough.

He listens and hears
All that I say
He wants to communicate
In my special way.

I am so lucky
He is just fine
Thank you Dad
 for being mine!
Photo by Robert Hernandez Villalta on Pexels.com

A Message to Moms

The month of May is almost done. I want to give a shout-out to all the moms. Mother’s Day has passed, but a mother’s love is always present.

Mothering is the most important job on earth. It is critical to her children’s future. Mothers make a difference in the way their children grow and develop.

From the time they are born to the time they are adults, a mother gives so much to her children. She provides support, love, and inspiration. Mothers have endless energy and care deeply about us.

I want to thank my mom for all she has done for me. She is my number one fan!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Inside Here

Inside Here

by Sarah Ackerman

I am inside here
It is really me
I am in this body
My voice inside me.

I am inside here
I am more than you see
I have thoughts and feelings
That I want to set free.

I am inside here
I want you to know
I like being with you
Take me where you go.

I am inside here
I spell to speak now
Give me a chance 
I will show you how.

I am inside here
Each day is hard for me
My body is tough
I am not what you see.

I am inside here
I have a kind heart
I love and I care
When we are apart.

I am inside here
I am so alive
I want to succeed
Help me to thrive!