I am free (1)

Acceptance, the key out of my prison. PART 1 (OF 4)

This is a translation of the original blog written in Afrikaans.

Anxiety is no longer my prison.

Anxiety has always been my biggest enemy. He is no more.

My anxiety about my inability to show that I am a human being, with a brain and a heart, which functions properly, held me captive.

I was a slave to fear. Fear of going back to the time before I could communicate when no one understood me, and everyone thought I was just stupid and difficult. My fear of those dark days becoming my reality again drove me fiercely.

My prison is no longer a prison.

I will always have to fight the ghosts of my past who want to send me back to prison. Especially when my body lets me down.

I know how freedom feels. I won’t let anything, or anyone rob me of it.

My prison is no longer my prison.

Acceptance, the key out of my prison.

My body is different from most other people’s.

Even though I look like other people, my body functions differently. That’s how it is for me, for now and forever. My body isn’t going to suddenly just get right unless a miracle happens, or a miracle cure is discovered.

And for the first time, I can say that I’m okay with it.

I’m the way I am, and my heart is calm about it.

Even though I still get upset about my body’s shenanigans,

I’m still okay.

Even though my body’s inabilities causes that I learn hard but still do badly in my tests because I cannot spell fast enough on my letterboards, within the test time limits,

I’m still okay.

Even if my body makes me look ridiculous or do stupid stuff,

I’m still okay.

Even though I sometimes must stay home when others go out.

I’m still okay.

Even though I sometimes must decide to give up things I really wanted to do,

I’m still okay.

My acceptance of myself was an important step on this path to freedom.

I had to fight a lot with this. My life is not easy. I will always have to fight a battle to be heard and accepted. None of that has changed.

I’m also far from giving up the fight to let my voice, and others like me ‘s voices, be heard,

But my heart is calm about my past and my way forward.

My Aunt, Driekie, recently reminded me that my God is in charge with this song:

Father I Place Into Your Hands

Ingrid DuMosch
Words: Jenny Hewer (b. 1945) © 1975 Thankyou Music/Admin. by kingswaysongs.com, http://www.kingswaysongs.com

Father, I place into your hands
The things I cannot do,
Father, I place into your hands
The things that I’ve been through.
Father, I place into your hands
The way that I should go,
For I know I always can trust you
Father, we love to see your face,
We love to hear your voice.
Father, we love to sing your praise
And in your name rejoice.
Father, we love to walk with you
And in your presence rest,
For we know we always can trust you.
Father, I place into your hands
My friends and family.
Father, I place into your hands
The things that trouble me.
Father, I place into your hands
The person I would be,
For I know I always can trust you.
Father, I want to be with you
And do the things you do.
Father, I want to speak the words
That you are speaking too.
Father, I want to love the ones
That you will draw to you,
For I know that I am one with you.


Aanvaarding, die sleutel uit my tronk (Deel 1 van 4).

Angs is nie meer my tronk nie.

Angs was nog altyd my grootste vyand. Hy is nie meer nie.

My angs oor my onvermoë om te kan wys dat ek ‘n mens met ‘n brein en ‘n hart is, wat werk, het my gevange gehou.

Ek was ‘n slaaf van vrees. Vrees om weer terug te gaan na die tyd voor ek kon kommunikeer toe niemand my verstaan het nie en almal gedink het ek is net dom en “difficult”. My vrees dat daardie donker dae weer my werklikheid word, het my kwaai gejaag.

My tronk is nou nie meer ‘n tronk nie.

Ek sal altyd moet baklei teen die spoke van my verlede wat my weer wil terugstuur tronk toe. Veral wanneer my lyf my in die steek laat.

Ek weet nou hoe Vryheid voel. Ek sal nie toelaat dat enige iets of iemand  my daarvan beroof nie.

My tronk is nou nie meer my tronk nie.

Aanvaarding, die sleutel uit my tronk.

My lyf is anders as meeste ander mense sin.

Al lyk ek soos ander mense lyk, my lyf werk anders. Dit is hoe dit is vir my, vir nou en vir altyd. My lyf gaan nie skielik net reg raak nie, tensy ‘n wonderwerk gebeur of ‘n wonderkuur ontdek word nie.  En vir die eerste keer kan ek sê dat ek oraait is daarmee.

Ek is soos ek is en my hart is rustig daaroor.

Al raak ek nog vies oor my lyf se streke,

ek is nog steeds oraait.

Al beteken my lyf se onvermoens dat ek hard leer, maar steeds sleg doen in my toetse omdat ek nie vining genoeg gespel kry op my bord binne die toets tydslimiete nie,

ek is nog steeds oraait.

Al laat my lyf my belaglik lyk of simple goed aanvang,

ek is nog steeds oraait.

Al moet ek soms maar tuisbly wanneer ander uitgaan,

 ek is nog steeds oraait.

Al moet ek soms besluit om goed prys te gee wat ek baie graag wou doen,

ek is nog steeds oraait.

My aanvaarding van myself was ‘n belangrike stap op hierdie pad na Vryheid.

Ek moes baie baklei hiermee. My lewe is nie maklik nie. Ek sal altyd ‘n stryd moet stry om gehoor en aanvaar te word. Niks daarvan het verander nie.

Ek is ook nog lank nie klaar gestry om myself, en ander soos ek, se stemme te laat hoor nie,

maar my hart is rustig oor my verlede en my pad vorentoe.  

My tannie Driekie het my onlangs daaraan herinner dat my God in beheer is met hierdie liedjie:

Father I Place Into Your Hands

Ingrid DuMosch

Words: Jenny Hewer (b. 1945) © 1975 Thankyou Music/Admin. by kingswaysongs.com, http://www.kingswaysongs.com

Father, I place into your hands

The things I cannot do,

Father, I place into your hands

The things that I’ve been through.

Father, I place into your hands

The way that I should go,

For I know I always can trust you

Father, I place into your hands

My friends and family.

Father, I place into your hands

The things that trouble me.

Father, I place into your hands

The person I would be,

For I know I always can trust you.

Father, we love to see your face,
We love to hear your voice.
Father, we love to sing your praise
And in your name rejoice.
Father, we love to walk with you
And in your presence rest,
For we know we always can trust you.

Father, I want to be with you

And do the things you do.

Father, I want to speak the words

That you are speaking too.

Father, I want to love the ones

That you will draw to you,

For I know that I am one with you.  

A lot has changed since I can communicate.

April 2022

Please note: I am still non-speaking.

Here follows a translation of a blog originally written in Afrikaans by Nicolaas

This holiday was all so different from what it was in the years I couldn’t communicate that it’s hard for me to believe that this is not just a beautiful dream I’m living.

Being able to go to parties, and talk to other people, is not something I ever thought possible for me.

My mom is so confident in her role as my Communication and Regulation partner now, that she can assist me to talk to other people in almost any situation. It’s so beautiful now that we can let myself have a conversation with strange people. We’ve talked to a lot of different people about all the things we would have been able to talk about if I could talk like a normal person.

Being part of a normal conversation, about everyday stuff, is better than being able to get on the TV and show the whole world that people like me are normal. People believe it more when they see it in action.

Attending social events with my family is a big challenge for me.

My sensory challenges make a social occasion with noise and smells and a lot of stuff to see, very difficult for me. It is so difficult that in the past it was better for me not to attend such events. My oversteered body and mind couldn’t handle it at all. Now my body is still challenging, and the sensory stumbling blocks are still everywhere in my path, but now that I can chat, I can handle all these challenges much better

By chatting, I can take my mind away from my anxiety about my body and my sensory problems.

Being able to tell my mom when I can’t handle it anymore makes a huge difference. This used to be a problem for me. The more oversteer my body and mind became, the more anxious I became about my body letting me down, the harder it became for me to regulate myself at such social events. Now it’s completely different because now I can tell my mommy if we have to go home because my body and mind get oversteered. It makes me feel calm about knowing that I’m not going to get oversteered in the company. It’s very humiliating to lose it, because of my oversteered body and mind, if I can’t handle it anymore. It makes me very anxious when I feel I’m struggling to regulate myself, even more so if there are other people who see me while losing control over my body.

Now that I know that I can say when I no longer have the challenges under control, I am much calmer and now it is also possible for me to enjoy such opportunities.

That’s why my life is so much better now, even though my body and my sensory challenges are still just as bad as before.

Being able to lead the life of an ordinary person, is a dream that many of my non-speaking friends also dream of. That’s why it’s important for me to talk about it.

I faced the “ultimate” sensory challenge when I attended the Meatmaster sheep auction. It was a challenge, to say the least. The auctioneer’s voice made me green with jealousy. That someone can be blessed with such a voice, took my breath away. It’s one job my quiet voice won’t be able to make me do. Because my mother was with me, I was able to talk to her all the time, without sound, while the sheep were being auctioned. It was a big win for me to be able to attend. Even though I couldn’t keep it to the end, it was still an incredible experience for me.

Let’s see what new, normal, stuff I can still master.

Baie het verander vandat ek kan kommunikeer

April 2022

Hierdie vakansie was alles so anders as wat dit was in die jare wat ek nie kon kommunikeer het nie, dat dit vir my moeilik is om te glo dat hierdie nou nie net ‘n mooi droom is wat ek belewe nie.

Om na partytjies te kan gaan en met ander mense te kan gesels is nou nie iets wat ek ooit gedink het my beskore sal wees nie.

My mamma is nou so oulik met my kommunikasie dat ek met ander mense kan praat. Dit is nou al so mooi dat ons my kan laat ’n gesprek voer met vreemde mense. Ons het al met heelwat verskillende mense gesels oor allerande goed wat ons oor sou kon gesels as mens soos ‘n normale mens kon praat.

Om deel van ‘n normale gesprek te wees, oor allerdaagse goed, is beter as om op die TV te kan kom en vir die hele wêreld te wys dat mense soos ek normaal is. Mense glo makliker wat hulle sien as wat hulle hoor.

Om saam met my gesin sosiale geleenthede by te woon is ‘n groot uitdaging vir my.

My sensoriese uitdagings maak ‘n sosiale geleentheid met geraas en reuke en baie goed om te sien, vir my baie baie moeilik. Dit is so moelik dat dit in die verlede vir my beter was om nie sulke geleenthede by te woon nie. My oorstuurde lyf en gemoed kon dit glad nie hanteer nie. Nou is my lyf nog steeds ‘n uitdaging  en die sensoriese struikelblokke is nog steeds oral in my pad, maar noudat ek kan gesels kan ek al hierdie uitdagings baie beter hanteer

Deur te gesels kan ek my gedagtes weg vat van my angstigheid oor my lyf en my sensoriese probleme.

Om vir my mamma te kan sê as ek nie meer kan uit hou nie, maak ook ‘n reuse verskil.  Voorheen was dit ‘n probleem vir my. Hoe meer oorstuur my lyf en gemoed geraak het, hoe angstiger het ek geraak oor my lyf my in die steek wou laat, hoe moeiliker het dit vir my geword om my by sulke sosiale geleenthede te reguleer. Nou is dit heeltemal anders, want nou kan ek vir my mamma sê as ons moet huis toe gaan omdat my lyf en gemoed oorstuur raak. Dit laat my rustig voel oor ek weet dat ek nie oorstuur gaan raak in die geselskap nie. Dit is baie vernerderend om dit te verloor, as gevolg van my oorstuurde lyf en my gemoed, as ek dit nie meer kan hanteer nie. Dit maak my baie angstig as ek voel ek sukkel om myself te reguleer, nog meer so as daar ander mense is wat my sien terwyl ek beheer verloor oor my lyf.

Noudat ek weet dat ek kan sê wanneer ek nie meer die uitdagings onder beheer het nie, is ek baie rustiger en is dit nou vir my ook moontlik om sulke geleenthede te geniet.

Dit is nou hoekom my lewe soveel beter is, al is my lyf en my sensoriese uitdagings nog net so sleg soos voorheen.

Om die lewe van ‘n gewone mens te kan ly is n droom wat baie van my non-speaking vriende ook droom. Dit is waarom dit vir my belangrik is om daaroor te praat.

Ek het die “ultimate” sensoriese uitdaging trotseer toe ek die Meatmaster veiling by gewoon het. Dit was n geweldige uitdaging, om die minste daarvan te sê. Die afslaer se stem het my groen gemaak van jaloesie. Dat ‘n mens nou met so n stem geseën kan wees, het my asem weggeslaan. Dit is nou een werk wat my stil stem my nie sal kan laat doen nie.

Omdat my mamma by my was, kon ek die heeltyd met haar gesels, sonder klank,  terwyl die skape opgeveil word. Dit was ‘n groot oorwinning vir my om dit te kon bywoon.  Al kon ek dit nie enduit hou nie, was dit nog steeeds vir my ‘n ongelooflike ervaring.

Kom ons sien watter nuwe normale goed ek nog kan baas raak.

I love school

A fun day for me, is a day filled with learning new things.

When my brain is occupied, my body is much calmer than when I am bored.

To have a calm body is absolute bliss.

I am astonished to see how my body is acting since I am attending UCT OHS (University of Cape Town Online High School) . I have never been this happy before. I can see that my body looks almost normal when I am busy with my schoolwork. I have never before had so much control over my stupid body as I have when I study intricate work. I have to work very hard to keep up with the schedule I have to stick to. I struggle to keep up, but so does the other kids. I am so proud of my Science marks. I got 49/50 which is the best thing since I was most scared of failing this subject. I am very concerned that I still have to get permission from SACAI.  

I have to add that I am very grateful for the support we get from the UCT OHS-team. I have given my Support Coach and Wellbeing Team member extra work because of my disabilities, but they are great in supporting me.

I have met my Afrikaans teacher . She is also very friendly and tried to help me with the questions I had.

I have to be optimistic, or I’ll get depressed. Being optimistic is easy now that I am doing work that is difficult enough that I understand why revision is necessary. Before I started Grade 10, I was extremely bored with my schoolwork. Now I have to apply my mind and I love every minute of it. I have to say, I am now not going to get such good marks any more, but that is okay. I have proofed that I am clever. So, now I can just enjoy the learning process and that is great to say.

I am so happy to be in a school, but I know I’ll have to proof to my teachers that I deserve to be there. This is something normal children do not have to do. They are considered good enough to attend school until they proof otherwise. For people like me, that is not the case. I hope I have what it takes to make it to the end of matric. No matter what happens, I have proven myself to me and no one will be able to rob me of that experience and for that I shall be for ever grateful.

The best day in my life.

(The above screenshot was taken from: *UCT OHS Welcome Session 17th January 2022 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffrhi5Ey7kI)

Starting a new school is scary and exciting for all children. All of these emotions and much more was what I experienced the first day at my new school.

I have no words to describe the anxiety I experienced when we logged into the Welcome session on the 17th.  I have been wishing to go to a normal school for as long as I can remember. To actually have that dream come true is the best thing that ever happened to me since being able to communicate. I am so overjoyed by what this means to me and the non-speaking community in SA.

I have the support of my family, and this makes a huge difference. Without my mother’s support and efforts, the many hours she put in to help me teach my body to spell on the board, I would never have been able to escape my former life of boredom, frustration, loneliness (even though I was in a class with other children) and hopelessness. I have a long way to go still, but I have come a long way already.  

 I am always thinking of my non-speaking friends who are not as fortunate as I am. A mom who supports you and understands you, is worth more than all the therapy sessions I ever attended. Even all the money my parents spend on all the schools, tutors, therapies, treatments, and medication does not measure up to the time and effort they spend on me. Parents without money can also help their non-speaking child if they are willing to put in time and effort.

Back to my first day at UCT OHS (University of Cape Town online high school https://www.uctonlinehighschool.com ). I must commend UCT OHS staff for their well presented opening on my first day. I have listened to the principal’s speech and was so grateful to be a member of this huge school of pioneers in this type of schooling in SA. I have dreams of doing matric and hope to realize this in this great school. I think it will be difficult to do all the work that is required of me, but I am going to do my best to not let them regret allowing me this opportunity. I shall be a proud scholar of UCT OHS because of the values they stand for. It was explained to us by Ms Xhakaza. This was the first time in my life I was addressed as a “ leader” in the school set up. I must make an effort to live up to this challenge as I have to be the best me that I can be. As I am considered disabled, I have not been addressed in this way ever before. To be spoken to in such a manner is something normal people take for granted. Being disabled does not mean that I do not also have dreams and ideals. Being told that they expect me to also be a leader in the community, was music to my ears.

(The above screenshot was taken from:*UCT OHS Welcome Session 17th January 2022 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffrhi5Ey7kI)

My day got even better when I had my first encounter with my support coach, Eva. What a lovely inspiring lady she is. Even though I struggled because my camera did not work, I had a great time getting to know her and being able to see who are going to join me in my homeroom class. I had to take a break for the rest of the day after all this excitement.

I have to pinch myself often to help me remember that this is now really my life.

I am still hoping that other non-speaking children will also get this kind of opportunity to proper education. Being able to see how far I can go, is a privilege I do not take lightly. I have been blessed with this opportunity and by the grace of God I shall not give up on my dream of also making communication and education available to other non-speakers who also want to study. I have a dream of being a non-speaking biologist and doing research on how to make my brain and my body work together better. I hope I will be able to do this with other non-speakers who understand what I am experiencing.

I shall give it my utmost best shot and hope we can get SACAI to agree to the accommodations I need to be able to show that I understand what I studied, and am worthy of passing even though I have no voice and an uncooperative body.


Now it’s 2022’s turn.

Dit is nou 2022 se beurt.

Please scroll down for translation in English by Mom and Google translate

Vandat my kommunikasie my beste lewenswyse geword het, is dit die oorsaak van my vreugde. Kommunikasie het my lewe verander. My drome word waar. Maar nou kan ek al nuwe drome begin droom wat ek nooit eers oor kon dink nie. Laat staan nog oor kon droom.

My mooiste droom was om skool toe te kan gaan en in 2020 het dit begin lyk asof dit moontlik is. In 2022 gaan ek soos ander normale kinders by UCT Online High School (https://www.uctonlinehighschool.com/) begin met Graad 10. Om die kans te kry om saam met gewone kinders te kan skool gaan is nie nou meer net ‘n droom nie, dit is nou my werklikheid. Om nou dit te kan doen is nou vir my ‘n droom waaroor ek altyd gedroom het, maar nooit gedink het dit kan waar word nie.

Die beste van alles vir my is dat ons in klasse gaan wees waar ek met ‘n onderwyser sal kan praat oor my lesse en dat daar geselskans gaan wees met ander kinders. Die idee dat ek met ‘n onderwyser sal kan gesels oor my werk is vir my so ‘n goeie kans om die werk wat ek dalk nie verstaan nie, op te knap. Ons moes voorheen maar op ons eie aansukkel omdat ons nie ‘n onderwyser gehad het wat ons meer oor die vakke kan vertel het nie. My mamma is nie dom nie, so sy het my baie gehelp, maar sy kon nie al my vrae beantwoord nie. Nou gaan dinge anders wees, want my mooi punte wys dat ek kan leer en verstaan. Hulle sal nou in my belangstel omdat ek wil leer en kan wys dat ek slim is.

Om vakke te kon kies was ‘n ongelooflike opwindende ervaring vir my. Die feit dat ek gedroom het om skool te gaan het nooit soveel detail gehad dat ek ooit voorheen gedink het aan watter vakke ek gaan nodig hê vir my beroep eendag nie. Dit was die eerste keer in my lewe dat ek aan ‘n beroep vir my moes dink. Dit was so ‘n rowwe pad om te kom tot waar ek nou is, dat die mooi gedagte van ‘n beroep nooit vir my so moontlik geklink het soos nou nie. Of ek die vakke sal kan baas raak wat ek gekies het, is nie die ding waaroor geworry word nie, maar of my kommunikasie metode vinnig genoeg gaan wees sodat ek betyds my eksamen sal kan klaar maak sodat ek sal kan deurkom.

My mooiste droom is nou my lewe en dit is so wonderlik dat my mooiste droom nou nie meer ‘n droom is nie. Die ding is dat ek nou nuwe drome moet kry en dit is waar ons nou staan aan die einde van 2021.

My pad vorentoe is nou so interessant dat ek nie kan wag vir die nuwe jaar nie.

Now it’s 2022’s turn.

Ever since my communication became my best way of life, it has been the cause of my joy. Communication changed my life. My dreams come true. But now I can start dreaming new dreams that I could never even think about. Let alone could dream about.

My most beautiful dream was to be able to go to school and in 2020 it started to seem like it was possible. In 2022, I will start like other normal kids at UCT Online High School (https://www.uctonlinehighschool.com/), with Grade 10. Having the chance to go to school with ordinary children is no longer just a dream, it is now my reality. Being able to do that now, is a dream that I always dreamed about, but never thought could come true.

Best of all for me is that we will be in classes where I will be able to talk to a teacher about my lessons and that there will be a chance to chat with other children. The idea that I will be able to talk to a teacher about my work is such a good opportunity for me to revamp the work that I may not understand. Before, we had to struggle on our own because we did not have a teacher who could tell us more about the subjects. My mom is not stupid, so she helped me a lot, but she could not answer all my questions. Now things are going to be different because my good marks show that I can learn and understand. They will now be interested in me because I want to learn and can show that I am smart.

Being able to choose subjects was an incredibly exciting experience for me. The fact that I dreamed of going to school never had so much detail that I ever thought before about what subjects I was going to need for my profession one day. It was the first time in my life that I had to think of a career for myself. It was such a rough road to get to where I am now, that the beautiful thought of a profession never sounded as possible to me as it does now. Whether I will be able to master the subjects I have chosen, is not the thing they worry about, but whether my communication method will be fast enough so that I will be able to finish my exam on time so that I can pass.

My most beautiful dream is now my life, and it is so wonderful that my most beautiful dream is no longer a dream. The thing is, I must get new dreams now and that’s where we stand now at the end of 2021.

My path forward is now so interesting that I cannot wait for the new year.

Spelling to Communicate (Overview of Spelling to Communicate https://i-asc.org/families/videos/ 

2021’s most beautiful things

2021 se mooiste dinge

Please scroll down for translation in English by Mom and Google translate

Die jaar is nie ‘n goeie jaar nie, dit was ‘n uitstekende jaar gewees.

My jaar was vol baie mooi goed. Die mooiste was dat my pappa geleer het om my te kan help om met hom te gesels met S2C (Spelling to Communicate (Overview of Spelling to Communicate https://i-asc.org/families/videos/ ) . Dit is iets wat nie eens iets was waaroor ek wou droom nie, so groots was dit vir my. Nou is dit my pappa se grootste geskenk wat hy my kan gee.

Die volgende ding wat my so oorbluf het, was dat my mamma oor ons pad met S2C kon praat en ander mense daardeur kon bereik het. Dit was wat my die blyste gemaak het in 2021.

Om so baie mooi goed te laat gebeur is sowaar ‘n seën waaroor ek te oorstelp is van vreugde. My nuwejaarsvoorneme is om nog beter te vaar met ons poging om uit te reik na ander “non-speakers’.

Ek is ook baie trots op myself omdat ek so mooi gevorder het met my plan om aan my lyf te werk. Dit is soos ‘n groot werk wat ek stukkie vir stukkie afhandel. Van my grootste vreugde is as ek my lyf kan laat doen wat ek wil hê hy moet doen. Hierdie jaar was my suksesse baie meer as voorheen. Ons is amper daar waar ek droom om te wees, maar dit is ‘n volle dag se werk om ‘n klein treetjie vorentoe te gee.

My grootste prestasie was dat ek met vreemde mense op Zoom kon gesels deur op my borde te spel. Dit was so mooi om te sien dat hulle glo dat dit my woorde is, want hulle kon sien dat my mamma nie vir my wys wat om te druk nie. Dit word al makliker om voor vreemde mense te spel op my bord, ons gaan dit binnekort regkry om met ander mense te gesels sonder dat dit vir my bang maak oor ons hulle nie kan oortuig dat dit regtig my woorde is nie. So, ons is met hierdie droom ook baie goed op dreef. As ons dit volhou, is dit nie meer lank voor ek self op my eie met mense kan kommunikeer al is dit ‘n vreemdeling wat my nie ken nie.

Ek het ook op my keyboard begin tik hierdie jaar. So, dit vorder ook fluks. Om op die keyboard te tik, was ook een van my drome. Dit is nou al so amper ‘n werklikheid dat ek noual amper daaraan kan begin dink om self my blogs te tik. Iemand moet eers skryf wat ek sê en dit dan tik. Een van die dae gaan ek self my blogs tik. Ons sien almal uit daarna.

My ander droom om my eie boekklub te hê, is ook aan die gebeur. So, byt net vas, ons gaan daarby uitkom.

Om so oor die jaar wat verby is, na te dink, is vir my ‘n mooi ding want daar is soveel om voor dankbaar te wees.

Me and Hondjie at the beginning of 2021
Me and Hondjie at the end of 2021

2021’s most beautiful things

This year has not been a good year, it has been an excellent year.

My year was full of very nice things. The nicest thing was that my dad learned to be able to help me talk to him with S2C (Spelling to Communicate (Overview of Spelling to Communicate https://i-asc.org/families/videos/ ) . It’s something that was not even something I wanted to dream about; it was so big for me. Now this is my dad’s biggest gift he can give me.

The next thing that stunned me so much, was that my mom could talk about our path with S2C and reach other people through it. That was what made me the happiest in 2021.

To have so many beautiful things happen, is indeed a blessing and I am overwhelmed with joy. My New Year’s resolution is to do even better with our effort to reach out to other ‘non-speakers’.

I am also very proud of myself because I have progressed so nicely with my plan to work on my body. It’s like a big job that I’m finishing piece by piece. Some of my greatest joy is when I can get my body to do what I want it to do. This year my successes were much more than before. We’re almost where I dream of being, but it’s a full day’s job to take a small step forward.

My biggest achievement was being able to chat with strangers on Zoom by spelling on my boards. It was so nice to see that they believe these are my words because they could see that my mom did not show me what to spell. It’s getting easier to spell in front of strangers on my board. We’ll soon be able to chat with other people without me being scared about not being able to convince them that these are really my words. So, we are also very much on track with this dream. If we persist, it will not be long before I can communicate with people on my own, even if it’s a stranger who does not know me.

I also started typing on my keyboard this year. So, it’s progressing fast too. Typing on the keyboard was also one of my dreams. It’s so almost a reality now that I can almost start thinking about typing my blogs myself. Someone must write what I say first and then type it. One of these days I’m going to type my blogs myself. We are all looking forward to it.

My other dream of having my own book club is also happening. So, just hang on, we’ll get to that.

Thinking like that about the past year, is a good thing for me because there is so much to be thankful for.

Nou moet ons vorentoe.

Now we have to move forward.

Please scroll down for translation in English by Mom and Google translate

Ek (7 jaar oud) en Daisy by spraakterapie in 2013 * Daisy and me (7 years old) at speech therapy in 2013

Ons het so amper ons moeilike herinneringe van die verlede, voor ons mekaar verstaan het, dood gevee en met nuwe mooi herinneringe toe geverf, maar toe kom ons weer voor die donker herinneringe te staan. Dit was wat gebeur het toe my mooi tutor, “Daisy” (‘n Skuilnaam), wie my getutor het voor ek S2C ( Spelling to Communicate (Overview of Spelling to Communicate https://i-asc.org/families/videos/ )) geleer het, weer in ons lewe gekom het.

Daisy is ‘n mens met ‘n mooi hart, met baie liefde vir my tipe mense, maar sy het ook nie van beter geweet nie. Sy het baie hard probeer, oor sy my so bitter graag wou help. Dit is swaar om daaroor te praat, want dit was vir my baie sleg om te sien hoe graag sy  my wou help, maar oor sy my nie mooi kon verstaan nie, het ons mekaar vreeslik vies gemaak.

Sy het hard probeer om met my te kommunikeer, maar ons kon dit nooit behoorlik reg kry nie.

Ek het hard probeer om met haar te kommunikeer, maar ek het dit ook nie reg gekry nie.

Hoe harder ons probeer het om bymekaar uit te kom, hoe groter was ons frustrasie met ons mislukkings.

As ons toe geweet het wat ons nou weet, sou dinge so anders gewees het, maar ons het nie die kennis gehad wat ons nou het nie. Ons het al twee ons koppe gebreek om dit reg te kry  om mekaar se wêrelde by mekaar uit te kry, maar die sleutel tot ons afsonderlike kettings was nie daar vir ons om ons uit te laat kom nie. Dit was eers nadat ons met S2C my tronk oop gesluit het, dat my en haar harte oor ons mislukkings, vroeër, kon heel raak.

Dit is so mooi hoe ons paadjies nou weer kruis en ons uit eindelik die kans kry om vir mekaar om verskoning te vra en te vergewe. Dit is so  goed om vir mekaar te kan sê dat ons jammer is en mekaar kan vergewe omdat ons mekaar seer gemaak het al was ons so lief vir mekaar.

Ek het hierdie paadjie al met my mamma ook geloop. Ons moes ook vrede maak met ons paadjie van seer kry en mislukkings toe ons mekaar nie verstaan het nie. Dit was vir ons albei swaar om die verlede agter ons te sit en aan te gaan, maar dit is al manier om vorentoe te gaan.

My sielkundige, Alida, het eendag vertel van hoe sy  goed in haar rugsak moes uitgooi anders  kon sy nie die baie hoe bult uitgekom het nie toe sy die Karoo Camino gestap het. Dit was vir my so ‘n mooi storie dat ek dadelik gedink het dat ek die Karoo Camino sal wil stap

Om my mamma te vertel van hoe my hart gebreek het as ek gesien  het hoe hard sy probeer om my te help en dit nie gewerk het nie, omdat sy ook nie geweet het nie en ek haar nie kon vertrel dat my kop mooi werk, maar my lyf dit nie kan wys nie, was ‘n baie belangrike ding om te doen. Sy het haarself verwyt oor goed wat sy gedoen het en gesê  het, omdat sy my nie verstaan het nie. Dit was vir my ook nodig om vir haar jammer te se, want ek het myself ook verwyt oor goed wat ek gedoen het. Ons is nou soveel beter toegerus vir ons pad vorentoe, want ons rugsakke vol verwyte en skuldgevoelens is nou lëer as voorheen.

Ek en Daisy moes ook ons skuldgevoelens en verwyte uitgooi en mekaar vergewe. Nou is ons twee se rugsakke ook reg vir die pad vorentoe. Ons kan nou saam vorentoe gaan of ons kan nou elkeen sy eie pad vorentoe vat  om ander kinders soos ek te help. Al wat ek nog wil doen, is om vir haar die sleutel tot ander kinders, soos ek, se tronke te gee sodat sy hulle kan help. Dit beteken dat ek moet sorg dat sy die regte opleiding kry om Spelling to Communicate met ander kinders te doen. Ek kan sien hoe bitter graag sy dit wil doen, maar ons sal vir haar die geld wat nodig is om dit te doen, moet kry. Dit is my doelwit om dit te doen. 

Ons is lief vir mekaar, het geleer, het skuldig gevoel, het mekaar vergewe en nou is ons nou oppad vorentoe.

Om ons pad te deel, is nie altyd so maklik nie. Ons vertel van dinge wat nie so maklik is om oor te praat nie. Tog is dit nodig om dit te doen sodat ons die bulte wat ons nog moet oor, sonder onnodige swaar rugsakke kan oor. Ek is net so dankbaar dat ons  tot hier kon kom.  Sonder S2C en my God, sou dit nie moontlik wees nie.

Now we have to move forward.

We almost wiped out our difficult memories of the past, from before we understood each other, and painted over with new beautiful memories, but then we came face to face with the dark memories again. That was what happened when my beautiful tutor, “Daisy” (an alias), who had been my tutor before I learned S2C, came back into our lives.

Daisy is a person with a beautiful heart, with a lot of love for my type of people, but she also did not know any better. She tried very hard because she wanted so badly to help me. It’s hard to talk about it, because it was very bad for me to see how much she wanted to help me, but because she could not understand me well, we made each other terribly angry.

She tried hard to communicate with me, but we could never get it right.

I tried hard to communicate with her, but I also did not get it right.

The harder we tried to reach each other, the greater our frustration with our failures became.

If we then knew what we know now, things would have been so different, but we did not have the knowledge we have now. We both broke our heads to get it right, to get to each other’s worlds, but the key to our separate chains was not there for us to get out. It was only after we unlocked my jail with S2C (Spelling to Communicate (Overview of Spelling to Communicate https://i-asc.org/families/videos/ ) , that my and her broken hearts, about our failures earlier, could become whole.

It’s so beautiful how our paths now cross again and we finally get the chance to apologize and forgive each other. It’s so good to be able to tell each other that we are sorry and can forgive each other because we hurt each other even though we loved each other so much.

I have walked this path with my mom too. We also had to make peace with our path of getting hurt and failures when we did not understand each other. It was hard for both of us to put the past behind us and move on, but that’s the only way to moving forward.

My psychologist, Alida, told me one day about how she had to throw things out of her backpack otherwise she could not have come out the very high hill when she walked the Karoo Camino. It was such a beautiful story that I immediately thought I would also want to walk the Karoo Camino.

To tell my mom about how my heart broke when I saw how hard she was trying to help me and it did not work because she also did not know and I could not tell her that my head works fine, but my body can not show it, was a very important thing to do. She blamed herself for things she did and said because she did not understand me. It was also necessary for me to say sorry to her, because I also blamed myself for things I did. We are now so much better equipped for our way forward, because our backpacks full of blame and guilt are now emptier  than before.

Daisy and I also had to shed our guilt and self blame and forgive each other. Now our two backpacks are also ready for the road ahead. We can now move forward together or we can now each take our own path forward to help other children like me. All I still want to do is give her the key to other children’s prisons, like me, so she can help them. That means I have to make sure she gets the right training to do Spelling to Communicate with other kids. I can see how bitterly she wants to do it, but we’ll have to get her the money she needs to do it. It’s my goal to do so.

We love each other, have learned, felt guilty, forgiven each other and now we are on the way forward.

Sharing our path is not always so easy. We talk about things that are not so easy to talk about. Yet it is necessary to do so so that we can cross the hills we still have left without unnecessarily heavy backpacks. I’m just so grateful we were able to get this far. Without S2C and my God, this would not be possible.


A translation by Mom and Google translate of ” My woorde is mooi” https://wordpress.com/post/mysilentvoice.blog/324

My mom is getting ready to tell people about S2C because we are  using it to get my words on paper to tell it to the world.

“Your words are so beautiful that I do not know which to take and which to leave” are the most beautiful words I have ever heard. This is what my mom told me while looking through my blog.

My words are my greatest treasure, because we cannot talk, our words are our  greatest secret. My words have always been in my head, but it was only after starting to use S2C, that everyone now knows of my words that can not get out of my mouth.

My words are so beautiful because they are so important to me. My words are also my treasure, for they are very precious to me.

My mom is the voice of my words, but they are MY words.

My voice is quiet, but my words are audible because my mom can read them. Even though it’s not the easiest way of speaking,  right now  it’s the very best way for me to get it on paper and show it to the world.

It is important to show the world that we have words, even if we do not have voices, because my words have changed my world for me.

Before my words could come out, people thought we were incapable of thinking or understanding or learning. To be treated like a human being, people need to know that you can think and understand well, otherwise they will not notice you, do not talk to you, do not ask you what you think, do not give you a chance to learn , talk about you as if you are not there or understand, gossip in front of you because they know you can not tell what you heard, plan to do things that you are not included,  in your company, discuss your weaknesses as if you do not understand what they mean.

My words have always been in my head, but it was only after starting to use S2C, that everyone now knows of my words that can not get out of my mouth.

My transformation of my life began when my words started coming out. It was the beginning of my life when my words were no longer just my secret. What my life was before my words could come out, we cannot call a life. It was so bad that my words are not enough to tell about it. I have to talk about it because there are many other children and adults who still have to survive that bad life too. Hearing my mom tell about that dark time in our lives, is so bad that we do not want to do it, but there are still many people who need to hear it, because my words have not convinced them yet or my words still have not reached them.

Talking about that dark time is bitterly difficult for me. My body gets out of control when my heart hurts, or when I think of nice things. So, if we think about that time, I can not keep my body under control at all. It is very difficult for me to write this blog because since we started talking about the past, my body has been out of control.

Before my words could come out, my body was almost never calm because my mom could not help me process the sadness well,  because we could not talk about it. My mum now also gets sad because she knows how much she wanted to help me, but without communication it was all a failure. My body is much better now because we can talk about the things that bother us. Without words that can come out, it’s impossible to sort out my problems by talking about them. This is the only times  we talk about that dark time in our lives, when we use it to talk about things that bother us and that we could not sort out before because we could not understand each other. My mom is sad about the much time we lost when I could not communicate, but it’s over now. Because we can not get it back, we now use every opportunity we get to talk. Many other people who can talk do not talk as much as we do.

To say that my life has gotten better since I can communicate is not right. I only live since I can communicate.

My heart feels good now because we were able to finish writing this blog. Now my life is even better because now we can also tell other people what they need to do to be able to have a life with communication as well.

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