He used one hand to control the other, after spending a few hours training him. Then, I left him alone once he got it.

I’ve worked with kids with several physical handicaps, specifically Cerebral Palsy. I was diagnosed with it as a baby and went to therapy which allowed me to enter Kindergarten with zero traces that they could see. Did I *really* have it? Who knows – no way to tell.

Anyway, in my early 20s, I volunteered full time for a year at the same cerebral palsy center that helped me out. This was back in 1992-3 and I was setting them up with computers to help the kids communicate better with the outside world.

The thing with cerebral palsy: your brain is perfectly fine, except for lesions around the motor/muscle control area.

Talking? Moving like we’re accustomed to? They can’t.

But they can communicate.

One boy, who was 21 yrs old about to leave the program (too old), I helped him learn how to type on Deskmate Text. [I was a Tandy fan, and all they had were ancient leftover computers-of-the-day that couldn’t run Windows 3.1].

He used one hand to control the other, after spending a few hours training him. Then, I left him alone once he got it.

It took him all day, but for a guy that NEVER WROTE ANYTHING in his life before…. _seemed_ intelligent but was thought to be unable to do anything beyond pointing at a image board to express what he wanted, he typed a PERFECTLY SPELLED letter to his mother, thanking her for all the hard work she did for him and how much he loves her.

How does this relate to thoughts and communication? We’re naive about what we consider valid as we anthropomorphize based upon our own abilities and have trouble conceiving of other ways of communication.

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