Handicap / Down Syndrome
Even “Heartbeat Bill” May Allow Abortion of “Handicapped”
As parents of a non-speaking autistic son, we never stopped looking for alternative methods of communication, despite having all the “experts” telling us he had no cognitive ability or understanding of language. When he was 19, we read a book by another non-speaker, Ido Kedar, called Ido in Autismland. The author told the story of how he was released from his “prison” through an alternative method of communication known as “RPM”, where the non-speaker spells out his thoughts on a laminated letterboard or keyboard.
It was developed by a woman in India for her own autistic son, and she eventually moved to America and has worked with thousands of non-speakers with great success. Her name is Soma Mukhopadhyay, and after living for several years in California (where she worked with Ido Kedar), she settled in Austin, Texas. We took our son to work with her in Austin for a week, and within minutes of his very first session with Soma, it was apparent that all the “experts” had been wrong, and he was very smart and very capable of communication through this method.
While Soma makes RPM look easy, I can assure you it’s not as simple as it looks, as every non-speaker is different, with different sensory and/or motor difficulties. Thus, it takes a special connection with those on the spectrum to succeed as an RPM provider, a/k/a a communication partner. Ido’s book goes into more detail as to the whys and wherefores of RPM success, so again, I strongly recommend that anyone interested in exploring this method read his book. He also has a blog by the same name, but the book is the best place to begin. We now know that not only is our son extremely bright, but he is also very much in touch with the spiritual realms, as evidenced by many of his musings and poetic writings.
There are now many RPM communicators blogging and posting on facebook or other internet sites, and it seems that they are almost all very much in touch with God and “things above”. Another great book is Josiah’s Fire, which is also a facebook page. Josiah writes very deep spiritual poetry with an emphasis on Jesus and heaven. I will leave you with a couple of things our son, Danny, has written through RPM, and I encourage every parent of a so-called “retarded” or “low functioning” autistic child not to lose hope, as they are very definitely here for a purpose, and methods like RPM are here to help them live that purpose.
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