James visited NYC for the first time last week and as we expected it made quite an impression. We planned the trip as first time tourists and did all the quintessential NYC experiences, like staying in Times Square, visiting the Empire State Building, and riding the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We asked him to write about his impressions of the trip and here is what he said:
NEW YORK IS AN INTERESTING PLACE. SO MANY PEOPLE THAT ARE UNIQUE. EVERYWHERE YOU GO THERE ARE CROWDS, BILLBOARDS, AND ELECTRIC (signs). I NOW FEEL I LEARNED WHAT IT MUST HAVE FELT LIKE TO IMMIGRATE TO ELLIS ISLAND. OUR SOCIETY IS MORE ADVANCED NOW, BUT THEY MUST HAVE BEEN AS OVERWHELMED AS I WAS.
ONE DIFFERENCE IS COMMUNICATION. I UNDERSTAND ENGLISH, YET I NEED AN INTERPRETER TO TALK. THE IMMIGRANTS COULD TALK BUT NOT THE SAME LANGUAGE. I AM SAD AND SORRY FOR THEM. DID THEY SUFFER? I HAVE MY FAMILY, BUT MANY CAME ALONE. I CANNOT TRULY UNDERSTAND THE CONDITIONS THAT FORCED PEOPLE TO IMMIGRATE.
DESPITE BEING OVERWHELMED I ENJOYED THE TRIP. ELLIS ISLAND WAS MY FAVORITE BECAUSE OF THE HISTORY. I ALSO ENJOYED ROCKEFELLER CENTER DUE TO THE PEOPLE. I FELT NORMAL BEING IN A CROWD OF PEOPLE SO UNIQUE.
I haven’t had time to report on all the “enlightened” thinking that was taking place here in May and June but I wanted to share a collection of quotes both from the famous and the not so famous– James! A really nice RPM exercise that our SLP and teacher have used this year is reading quotes or ideas from important people and asking James, “what does this quote mean to you”? They did quite a few but I will just share some of the highlights.
“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”~Moliere
CAN’T GIVE UP WHEN SOMETHING IS HARD. WE BUILD OURSELVES BY THE THINGS WE OVERCOME. IF THINGS ARE EASY WE GET CARELESS.
“If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”~ Goethe
PEOPLE SHOULD TREAT OTHERS WITH RESPECT. FORGET BIAS AND ASSUME COMPETENCE. WE ALL HAVE STRUGGLES EACH DAY, BUT ONE PERSON CAN SPREAD HOPE. BRING STRENGTH TO OTHERS.
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”~ Goethe
BECOME YOUR OWN HERO. FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND DONT LET IGNORANT PEOPLE BE A HINDERANCE. EACH DAY IS A CHANCE TO CHANGE THE WORLD, TAKE IT! DON’T BE COMPLACENT.
“To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.”~ Goethe
FIRST, WE MUST KNOW WHAT WE ACTUALLY THINK. THEN, WE MUST BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO ACT. IT MAY MAKE US AN OUTSIDER, BUT WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. EACH PERSON HAS A DUTY TO IMPACT SOCIETY.
Magical is a great word to describe this past week for our family. James’ older brother married his high school sweetheart, who is so wonderful and who we love so much, that the wedding was like a little bit of heaven on earth! For James it was particularly special because it was the first significant family event since he started being able to communicate through spelling on the letter board. James was a groomsmen and I venture to say that if he had not started using RPM a year ago his participation in the wedding would have been completely different. Because he is now able to tell us what he is thinking he was fully engaged in the planning and events leading up to the wedding. He was able to walk me up the aisle and stand with his brothers with poise and confidence. He was able to write a toast to the bride and groom that when read out loud brought much joy to everyone as well as a few tears! And he was able to tell us when it all got to be too much and he needed to head home-so much better than behaviors that would have made him and us sad.
We continued our school work during the big wedding week but his teachers kept it flexible due to all the excitement. On Tuesday his SLP asked him what he would like to do and he said creative writing. Here is the magical story that he wrote:
ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS AN UNUSUAL BOY WHO COULD NOT TALK. HE WAS VERY LONELY. HE LIVED IN A TOWER OF SILENCE. THE BOY WAS ALWAYS THINKING. HE THOUGHT ABOUT ALL THE THINGS HE HEARD DURING THE COURSE OF HIS LIFE. THE BOY HAD NOTHING BUT TIME TO CONTEMPLATE LIFE AND PEOPLE IN IT. THEN ONE DAY HE WAS INTRODUCED TO A POWERFUL WIZARD WHO GAVE HIM A MAGICAL BOARD THAT TRANSLATED HIS THOUGHTS INTO WORDS! THE BOY WAS ECSTATIC! HE WAS NOW ABLE TO COMMUNICATE ALL HIS THOUGHTS. AFTER THE BOY STARTED USING THE MAGICAL BOARD HIS ENTIRE LIFE CHANGED. PEOPLE STARTED TREATING THE BOY VERY DIFFERENTLY. THEY WERE SHOCKED BY HOW MUCH THE BOY KNEW AND THAT HE WAS CAPABLE OF LEARNING AT ALL! THE BOY KNEW THAT HE HAD TO HONOR THE GIFT OF THE MAGICAL BOARD. HE MUST USE THE BOARD TO TEACH THE WORLD ABOUT OTHERS WHO ARE STUCK IN THEIR OWN WORLDS OF SILENCE.
THE BOY WAS ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH THE PERCEPTIONS OF PEOPLE ABOUT HOW THOSE WHO DO NOT SPEAK. HE HAD TO BLAZE A NEW TRAIL FOR THE OTHER SILENT PEOPLE. HE HAD TO SHOW THAT SILENT DOES NOT EQUAL STUPID. THE BOY KNEW THE BEST WAY TO LEAD WAS THROUGH EXAMPLE. HE USED THE MAGICAL BOARD TO SHARE HIS WORDS WITH THE WORLD. THE BOY WAS ADORED BY ALL AND SLOWLY LED THE SILENT PEOPLE INTO THE WORLD!