Last week I was visiting with my friend Shirley, and she told me about her grandson’s day at school.
Sam has autism and apraxia. As I know very little about the different aspects of autism, I apologize in advance for any terminology I get wrong here. Sam doesn’t communicate verbally very much. With apraxia, Sam knows what he wants to say but the brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements so that he can say them. Thankfully, after quite a wait, he now has a device that he can type in what he wants to share, and it voices it for him. He can then practice repeating after the voice box on the device.
Shirley says this is a huge help.
So at school one day last week, Sam’s teacher heard him say “ow.” He said it several times. “Owww.” She became concerned, so she asked him if he was hurt. No. Was anyone else hurt? No. She asked him why he kept saying it, and he replied with his device two words.
I love this story so much.
Shirley says that Sam is crazy about Michael Jackson. Being of a certain *ahem* age, I know my Michael Jackson music, and if you do too, you know how much he says “Owww” in his songs.
Thank goodness for music and how it reaches beyond walls that others think might separate us. I am thankful for teachers who ask questions, and for teachers who share good stories like this one with the families. I am especially grateful for technology that is opening doors that otherwise never would have been open. And for little guys who embrace music and know their favorite artists–well, I just love it. I love his spirit.
I also love that Sam’s teacher took the time to ask questions and to hear his story. She didn’t ignore him. She didn’t just assume. She asked. And what a surprise that answer was, I bet. I hope it made her day. I know it made mine.
May we all be just as willing to sit and listen and not to discount ANYONE. We all have a story and a smile to share. We just need someone willing to receive it.
Love to all.