How much do we assume because of appearances?
A stroke patient may not be speaking. Is the mind empty?
An autistic person may not be speaking and does odd things. Is the mind empty?
A person with locked-in syndrome can’t move. Is the mind empty?
Who gets to decide if a person who is locked internally is thinking or not? Is it the geniuses at ASHA or the Lovaas Institute or in the university or clinics? How can a trapped mind communicate intelligence if the presumption is that the intelligence is compromised?
And what about the “brain dead” in vegetative states? Now new evidence indicates that 1 in 10 have consciousness. It’s my opinion that the brain is vast and its thoughts unknowable by mere external observation.
Not talking is not the same as not thinking.
This story is touching and important. It shows commitment, determination and love and how once again parents need to trust their observations over expert advice. Here was a boy, trapped in his body in a different way than I am, but like me he was not able to talk, gesture or write independently. Therefore doctors incorrectly advise his parents that he is a “vegetable.” My mission is to give non-verbal people the benefit of the doubt. In many cases people have emerged from non-responsive bodies to show intelligence. Why then do so many professionals persist in seeing people with non-responsive bodies as not? The lesson from this film is not just the inspirational one. It should be a caution to professionals against assuming the lowest for their patients based on external observation. Time after time people with cerebral palsy, autism, strokes, comas, and even encephalitis have been able to emerge to show that some of them were thinking while unable to show it. It boggles my mind that people resist this possibility in so many instances. The amazing thing is that this has been going on for decades. Each individual emergence is a story and no one generalizes it.
At long last my book is ready to be purchased on Amazon. Soon I hope to have a kindle version as well. I hope you find it interesting. Please let people know about it, and please consider writing a review on Amazon after you read it. Thank you, Ido
I am an autistic guy with a message. I spent the first half of my life completely trapped in silence. The second – on becoming a free soul. I had to fight to get an education but I succeeded, graduating high school with a diploma and a 3.9 GPA. I am continuing my education in college. I communicate by typing on an iPad or a letter board. My first book, Ido inAutismland is an autism diary, telling the story of my symptoms, education, and journey into communication. My second book, In Two Worlds, is a novel. I hope through my work to help other autistic people find a way out of their silence too.
My newest book is now available in paperback, on Kindle, and on Smashwords!