I am so excited it is September! September is the start of the school year for students. It is great to see students returning to the classroom.
I want you to know what school was like for me. I attended an autistic support program. I was presumed to be incompetent. I was given IQ tests that required verbal responses and fine motor coordination. As a nonspeaker with autism and apraxia, these methods were unfair and inaccurate. It resulted in my being taught far below my capabilities.
Imagine repeating kindergarten for fifteen years when you should be in advanced placement classes! I had to teach myself language arts, math, science, and social studies. I did this all by myself on the computer at home. Each year at school was an eternity.
Nonspeakers need to be able to communicate in school. Schools need to provide students with many more options. They need to be offered communication methods that are accessible and appropriate for their needs.
I believe that nonspeakers have so much ability. We are not being given a chance to express what we are capable of. This needs to change!
I want to see letterboards being used in schools. Spelling to Communicate is a method of communication that allows nonspeakers with motor challenges to express themselves by pointing to letters on a letterboard or keyboard. It is how many nonspeakers are able to share what they feel, think, and know.
Communication is a basic human right. It extends to students as well. Nonspeakers need better methods to communicate in school. Start the school year by supporting a nonspeaker with the tools to talk in a way that works for them!
I love baseball. The sounds of the crowd. The smells in the air. The taste of the hot dogs at the park.
It’s been a long time since I’ve attended a game at a stadium. I have missed getting together with my friends. Zoom is great, but it is just not the same as being there in person
Nonspeakers are like everyone else. We enjoy outings with our families and friends. Please invite and include us. We want to be there with you.
Going to a game soon. It’s good to be back in the swing of things!
By Sarah Ackerman
There once was a virus named Covid.
It had no rhyme or reason.
It didn't care about the season.
It took many lives away.
We remember them every day.
The virus had a good side.
It caused us to be kind.
Our lives began to change.
They did not stay the same.
Masks became the norm.
Everyone had to conform.
We had to give some space
with each and every place.
Zoom became the way
to communicate every day.
Delivery came from the store.
We didn't go there anymore.
People went to work each day
not knowing what would come their way.
Health care workers tried to save lives.
They did their best to keep others alive.
They went to work and helped to mend.
Sometimes it felt it would never end.
Vaccines are now here
to help the ones that we hold dear.
Things are starting to heal.
The world is better I feel.
The future will be bright.
Good times are back in sight.
When people think of loops, they often think of roller coasters. For me, loops are repetitive thoughts that I get stuck on.
Loops are challenging to get through. It helps when you acknowledge my thoughts. Affirmation is comforting and helps me to cope. When I get confirmation, I am reassured and I can move on. It regulates me so that I can focus and go about my daily activities. Think of it as a rocky roller coaster ride that operates all year long!