April 8, 2018, Prescott-
I dreamed, last night, that two of my students were on a planet where people looked like us, but were not able to communicate verbally. The boys watched people talking to them, and to one another, but noticed that there was no sound coming. Photos were taken and sound waves were visible on the pictures, looking almost like bubbles.
I wonder if this is how the students feel, sometimes, given their own speech difficulties. We are usually able to determine what a student wants, based on body language, requests made in basic language or, in one case, apraxic compensation.
There is another takeaway from this dream. People have been talking past one another, for nearly twenty years. It’s almost as if they are afraid of “catching” a disease, just from hearing a contrary opinion, similar to the way some white folks would wash their hands after contact with a person of colour, or some Native Americans would shake their hands in the air, after a handshake with a white man.
Society is constipated, to put it indelicately. How else can we be in a situation, where anyone can see racism as the reason behind “Black Lives Matter” or fascism as the reason for expanded background checks for gun owners, or for denying a firearms purchase by someone who is known to be mentally ill? How else can a woman be seen as the perpetrator of her own rape, or sexual abuse that stops short of rape? How else can teenagers, on both sides of a debate, be viewed as mere pawns of the same adults who have punted the school safety can down the road, since 1990?
My students, in real life, are loved and well-understood, even with speech impediments or non-verbality. Those around us, regardless of viewpoint, have the right to speak and be heard- as well as hopefully being understood.
Let’s start thinking outside the bubble.