Monday, 25 March 2013

#1 Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Tomorrow Jack turns eight. Carter won't speak any birthday wishes to him. Nor will he sing as Jack blows out the candles on his cake...

...but that doesn't mean that Carter will be any less excited about his brother's big day.

Carter is older than Jack by 18 1/2 months, but in many ways Jack plays the role of older brother. Jack is one of Carter's favourite people in the world: his best friend, his sidekick, his playmate, his ally. The two have always had a special bond. 

Will it bother Jack that Carter can't say Happy Birthday to him like everybody else does? Not at all. He'll eagerly accept one of Carter's famous bear hugs in place of a spoken message. Jack will let Carter help him open his presents without complaint. And if Carter expresses something on his talker, Jack will patiently listen with interest to what he has to say.

Not being able to talk means not being able to speak the words, 'Happy Birthday' to your brother. But actions can speak louder than words. With my boys I see that every day.

What are you communicating with your actions?

Disclaimer: Views in the Not Being Able to Speak series are derived from my personal experience with Carter. I do not speak on behalf of others with complex communication needs. It is not my intent to minimize or disregard the power of expression that can be found through the use of augmentative and alternative forms of communication.


  1. Love this, Stacey. It's so true that we take what we have for granted until we are in the immediate presence of one who opens our eyes. I have students with little or no oral language expression and have so much respect for them. They are smart and capable and rise to communication challenges each and every day. Technology is amazing in what it can do to help them communicate, but also in connecting people to share stories, strategies and change attitudes about what 'special' really means.

  2. Yes they are smart and capable!
    We are lucky to live in the age that we do surrounded by the wonders of assistive technology.
    Thanks for the comment, Ida Mae!