But don't you wish he could talk so that he could communicate his thoughts and feelings and like...what's on his mind?
What a question. Asked not in malice but by a friend, out of true curiosity. But forming my answer wasn't easy, not at all. It's a complex answer for a complex question.
Don't you wish he could talk?
Two and a half years ago when he first came home, I would've had a different answer for you. 5 years ago, prior to becoming a mom to a neurodiverse communicator, I would've had a different answer for you.
I have heard this concept similarly described by other mamas whose kids don't have any forms of traditional communication, so I know there are others who get this too: I don't need him to be able to talk to understand what's on his mind. Such is our connection, and such is his connection to the purest forms of communication, that at this point in our journey together, I almost always know exactly what he means without him saying, or signing, a word.
Don't you wish he could talk, or sign, or...something?
Honestly? No, I don't. The ability to talk or communicate in a more traditional way would mean different, more typical neural connections, and a more traditionally formed brain. It would mean brain waves that measure "normal" on an EEG and chromosomes that all line up exactly "right". It would mean fundamentally changing my son on a cellular level.
Who would he be, then?
I think that a lot of people honestly think that my middle child is like a charity project to me. They don't say it outright but they betray their true feelings in a million indirect ways...
"Oh, he's so lucky to have you."
"You're a superhero!"
"Was that the only type of child you could get matched with while you were single?"
The list goes on and on. And I understand that most people who say those things don't mean them to sting the way that they do. But I need ya'll to understand something, too:
My J might not be able to communicate in any traditional way, but there are many others who ARE able to speak for the CP community. This month, we celebrate Cerebral Palsy Appreciation Month. Part of that is knowing and living out the truth that our son with CP needs absolutely no fixing, because he's not broken. And another part of that is learning from those who share about their lived experience as people with CP.
Like Tajia (tajias_journey)...
And Tamara (strong_black_queen123)...
And Faith (faith.clark.315080)
Next week I'll be collaborating with some of those women for an epic Women's History Month/Cerebral Palsy APPRECIATION Month crossover. Excited to share that with the world.
And no, I don't ever wish he could talk. I never wish him to be anything more than the wonderful human he already is.