How do I know my non-speaking loved one, will be able to do this?

This is an understandable question. Most who come to S2C have tried many other methods prior and fear it won’t be effective with their loved one. I can relate.

An individual who is non-speaking, has a body/brain disconnect known as apraxia and while it’s hard to recognize from the outside, this has no bearing on cognitive thinking. In S2C we work to reduce the motor burden from a fine motor activity to a gross motor action allowing the individual to progress toward more robust communication.

But I’m not sure my loved one can read, let alone spell. How’s this going to work?

Oh yes, I know this one very well. The majority of our spellers never show they have the ability to do this until we teach them the motor. Try this experiment on yourself: Tape your mouth shut and tie your hands behind your back.  Can you still think? Of course. Can you still read? Of course. Okay but how would anyone know that?

With apraxia reading, listening, and paying attention don’t have a look.

But don’t take my word for it, I refer you to one of the experts. See this excerpt from self-advocate non-speaker, speller and author Aaron Jepson

“I think most of us non-speakers figure out on our own how to read and spell long before we can actually teach our bodies to cooperate. That is why it is so important to assume competence and teach to our age level. It would avoid so many wasted years and a lot of frustration. I am proud to be part of a group of people who have shown such life resilience and am so happy that many of us are finding our voices. Hopefully by making our voices heard, things will be better for those behind us.”

We start by presuming competence and go from there. It’s the least dangerous assumption.

My loved one is injurious towards self and/or others. How would this work?

There’s no judgment here and this is not a determining factor on their success. Someone with impulsive actions can be taught as well as anyone.

How long will it take?

Of course, no one likes this answer, but it depends on 2 primary factors.

  • Degree of motor challenge.
  • Amount of practice.

Anecdotally we see that those who have a daily home practice with progress faster regardless of other factors.

Thinking of homeschooling a speller?

Most questions can be addressed in a free 15-minute consultation. If  you need a more in-depth dive into state laws, curriculum, scheduling, home/school balance, etc. you may book a 1-hour consultation with follow ups for $50.