I am so incredibly pleased to have the opportunity to share in a way that is safe for me but has such a huge audience. I am so excited to share with you today that even though my posts have been serious the response to them has been amazing to me. I feel I owe it to my silent friends in this world to share my experiences, because even though we are all different, the human experience of living without a verbal voice is a painful and challenging one. Thanks for hanging in there with me as I share some of my experiences of living in a silent body. I am amazed at the beautiful responses I have received in only two weeks of starting my blog.
Today I want to focus on giving dignity to those who are overlooked. If the world only knew what we see, experience, feel, and understand, they would be very convicted by their actions and words. I want you to know what my friend Bill Stillman says about assuming intellect, not just in people who appear intelligent and can carry on powerful conversations with you but for those even who are labeled like me to be “profoundly retarded.” I think we will all find out one day that there is really very little difference between all of us. We are all amazing humans living in a physical world. God made all of us with spirits and souls and physical bodies. Some of our bodies give us great pain and suffering even, but God is loving all of us. I believe He is especially close to those of us who through no fault of our own struggle in this life. If you want a profound experience with God, get close to one of His children who are not often seen by humanity.
When we assume intellect we give as much care about what we say around someone who is nonverbal as we do in talking to a best friend. If my mom had believed what all the professionals said about me for most of my life I wouldn’t have opportunity to share today. If she had believed that I was “profoundly retarded” like she was told the tests determined she would not have given me opportunities that have enriched my life. I ask you to consider what you would do differently if the person you know, love, or work with really is capable of understanding all. You would be changed and so would they. It is not an impossible task to just believe in someone. Why is it that typical people are encouraged to develop themselves, speak their minds, and allowed to fulfill their dreams, but those who are silent are left to do the tasks that no one would choose intentionally for themselves? I would still be working on some of the goals that were expected of me as a young girl of sorting shapes and matching colors dozens of times over, if my mom and a wonderful teacher who believed in me hadn’t put a stop to that awful existence.
These things may be hard to hear but I beg of you to consider them. What do you have to lose? You will gain the respect, love, and powerful connection to the very soul of another human who isn’t heard with your ears.