My ideas are also important

My idees is ook belangrik.

*This blog was written by Nicolaas in Afrikaans and translated by mom to English. Scroll down for English version, please. Nicolaas is non-speaking and uses S2C (Spelling to Communicate) to communicate, i.e. spelling his words by tapping letters on a letterboard.

Me wearing  my "ears" to tone down auditory input.
Me wearing my “ears” to tone down auditory input.

Om nie te kan praat nie,

beteken nie dat ek nie hoor wat ander praat nie.

Dit beteken ook nie dat ek nie dink oor goed waarvan ander rondom my praat nie.

Dit beteken beslis ook nie dat ek nie ontsteld raak oor dinge wat ek hoor nie.

Ons moet onthou dat my gehoor beter is as meeste ander mense s’n. Al  dra ek my “ore”, hoor ek steeds beter as meeste mense. Al fluister mense, ek hoor dit steeds.

Alles wat ek hoor, is goed wat ek oor dink.

Omdat ek nie so baie praat nie, dink ek oor baie goed na. Om oor goed na te dink, hou my brein besig. Om my brein besig te hou is belangrik vir my omdat dit my help om my lyf te kan beheer omdat as my brein besig is, is my lyf kalmer as gevolg waarvan ek dan my lyf beter kan beheer. Dit is dan tot my eie bes wil om my brein soveel moontlik in te span as wat ek kan.

‘n Besige brein = ‘n kalmer lyf vir my.  So, om te dink oor goed is my stokperdjie, want dit help my om te ontspan.

Ongelukkig kan my dinkery weer lei tot ‘n uit beheer lyf. As my kop te besig raak met dink oor goed soos die politiek, of ander goed wat my ontstel, is dit nie goed vir my nie. Ek het al so baie goed oor gedink dat ons ‘n dik boek sal kan skryf as ek dit alles moet vertel.

My gedagtes bly meestal net my eie.

Oor ons so baie kans kry vir dink, is dit onmoontlik om oor alles te kommunikeer, want my dink is baie vinniger as my spel op die borde of skrywery. Nou is dit so dat as ek die slag kans kry om te gesels dat dit vir my die heerlikste ding is om my gedagtes met my gesin te deel. As jy nooit  ‘n kans kry om jou gedagtes uit te spreek nie, dan kan jy ook nie ‘n kans kry om te hoor of wat jy gedink het reg of verkeerd is nie.

Ek verstaan soms goed nie soos ander mense nie omdat my lewe so anders is as meeste mense s’n.

Ek raak ook so gewoond daaraan om nie my gedagtes uit te spreek nie, dat ek vergeet dat my gedagtes dalk ook ‘n goeie ding is of selfs ook vir iemand anders kan help. Dit is hoekom dit vir my so baie spesiaal was toe my pappa vir my gesê het dat die opmerking wat ek oor sy stoet ramme gemaak het, hom nou help.

Om my gedagtes te kan deel is ’n groot ding.

Om my gedagtes iets te laat beteken vir ander mense, is ook ‘n groot ding.

In die skool wat ek laas jaar was, was daar kinders wat kan praat, maar nooit iets gesê het nie. Vir hulle wil ek net sê: jou gedagtes is belangrik. As jy dit nie deel met ander nie, is dit jou keuse, ‘n keuse wat my nie beskore is nie omdat ek net kan kommunikeer wanneer my mamma of pappa my help. Omdat jy kan praat, het jy ’n keuse. Jy besef dalk nie hoe baie dit beteken om so ‘n keuse te hê nie, maar dit is baie handig. Vir julle wil ek sê: moenie dat jou keuse om stil te bly jou in die voet skiet nie.

Om jou gedagtes te kan deel is jou kans om jou gedagtes te toets. Oor jy  dit kan toets, kan jy nog beter goed uit dink.

As ons nou so aan dit alles dink, is my boodskap net: jou gedagtes tel ook, moenie bang wees om dit uit te spreek nie.

My ideas are also important.

Not being able to talk,

doesn’t mean I don’t hear what others are talking about.

It also doesn’t mean I don’t think about stuff others around me are talking about.

It certainly doesn’t mean I don’t get upset about things I hear either.

We need to remember that my hearing is better than most other people’s. Even though I wear my “ears,” I still hear better than most people. Even though people whisper, I still hear it.

Everything I hear is stuff I think about.

Because I don’t talk that much, I think about a lot of stuff. Thinking about stuff keeps my brain busy. Keeping my brain busy is important to me because it helps me to be able to control my body because when my brain is busy, my body is calmer because of which I can then control my body better. It is therefor, in my own best interest, to exert my brain as much as I can.

A busy brain = a calmer body for me.  So, thinking about stuff is my hobby because it helps me relax.

Unfortunately, my thinking can lead to an out of control body again. If my head gets too busy thinking about stuff like politics, or other stuff that upsets me, that’s not good for me. I’ve thought about so much stuff that we’ll be able to write a thick book if I have to tell it all.

For the most part, my thoughts remain just my own.

Because we get so much time for thinking, it’s impossible to communicate about everything, because my thinking is much faster than my spelling on the boards or writing. When I get the chance to chat, sharing my thoughts with my family is the most delightful thing for me. If you never get a chance to express your thoughts, then you also can’t get a chance to hear whether what you thought was right or wrong.

I sometimes don’t understand things like other people because my life is so different from most people’s.

I also get so used to not expressing my thoughts, that I forget that my thoughts might also be a good thing or even help someone else as well. This is why it was so very special to me when my dad told me that the comment, I made about his stud of rams, is now helping him.

To be able to share my thoughts is a big thing.

To be able to help others with my thoughts , is also a big thing.

In the school I was last year, there were kids who could talk but never said anything. To them, I just want to say: your thoughts are important. If you don’t share it with others, it’s your choice, a choice that I do not have because I can only communicate when my mom or dad helps me. Because you can talk, you have a choice. You may not realize how much it means to have such a choice, but it is very useful. To you, I want to say: don’t let your choice to shut up shoot you in the foot.

Being able to share your thoughts is your chance to test your thoughts . Because  you can test it, you can think out even better stuff.

Now, when we think about all of this, my message is just – your thoughts count too, don’t be afraid to express it.

One thought on “My ideas are also important

  1. Thank you, Nicolaas. I teach a university class in California for students who are preparing to become general education teachers. The class is about understanding and teaching students with disabilities (or really any kind of difference) who may be in their classes in the future. I use writing by non-speaking autistic people to help them start to understand what it is like to be non-speaking. I will keep following your blog, and in January, when that course starts again, I will choose some blog entries for them to read. Your ideas are important to me, and they will be important to my students, and they will indirectly be important to the students that they will teach in the future. I wish you the best, and I hope you keep writing!


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