Thursday, February 7, 2013

Behind the Silence




This story is touching and important. It shows commitment, determination and love and how once again parents need to trust their observations over expert advice. Here was a boy, trapped in his body in a different way than I am, but like me he was not able to talk, gesture or write independently. Therefore doctors incorrectly advise his parents that he is a “vegetable.” My mission is to give non-verbal people the benefit of the doubt. In many cases people have emerged from non-responsive bodies to show intelligence. Why then do so many professionals persist in seeing people with non-responsive bodies as not? The lesson from this film is not just the inspirational one. It should be a caution to professionals against assuming the lowest for their patients based on external observation. Time after time people with cerebral palsy, autism, strokes, comas, and even encephalitis have been able to emerge to show that some of them were thinking while unable to show it.  It boggles my mind that people resist this possibility in so many instances. The amazing thing is that this has been going on for decades. Each individual emergence is a story and no one generalizes it.

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