This quick chat is with my main CRP and older sister, Tara! I put her on the spot to ask about my initial fluency and then our fluency felt. I am so glad to share this bit of reminiscing with you. Video link and transcript below!
Danny: Hi Tara!
Tara: Hi Danny!
D: Hi Tara and all!
T: Hi Danny, hi all! So, what did you want to make this video about?
D: I want to chat about how you felt about my communication when you heard about it!
T: Do you want me to give some background?
D: Yes, okay!
T: Well, sure. So our mom and our younger sister Eira went to Portland to Danny to meet with Elizabeth Vosseller (EV). I didn’t really understand what RPM (Rapid Prompting Method) or Spelling to Communicate (S2C) were all about. I was pretty jaded about years and years of our mom trying to find “treatments” or anything to help Danny, and then it just not working out or even worse, just kind of being little more than a scam. So, to protect myself, I didn’t even pay much attention to this. I was just, “Oh, it’s just another one of these things that’s not going to help.”
And so I was in San Diego, and I get this call – I was walking home from dinner in my neighborhood with a good friend of ours – and it’s my mom and Eira. And they’re like, “You’ll never believe what Danny just said today.” And it was the evening of the day when you typed [spelled] your mission statement, what your legacy is going to be, which is a previous post.
And it just felt like… a dam burst open. Like I just started sobbing there on sidewalk, and my friend was very confused: “You seem happy, but there’s lots of tears…” And he was so excited to hear what I was telling him.
And I’m really glad our sister went, because she sometimes can be a bit skeptical, so the fact that she was like, “No, Tara, no one was coaching him, no one was touching him or influencing him, like I know this was Danny’s words.”
And I… just, like, thunderstruck, and I also was just like, “Oh my god. I’ve been talking to you like you’re a toddler, when you’re clearly understanding everything that’s going on.”
Yeah, that was the initial reaction.
D: Wow, I love it!
T: I can still feel it in my body, when I think back to it. And we all know that my cry trigger has a pretty low threshold…
D: Haha! I wonder how it felt to grow fluent with me!
T: It felt amazing, Danny. It felt so amazing. I get asked this question a lot – I didn’t go through any formal training, because I lived abroad, and even when I lived in San Diego years ago, I was extensively traveling. So I didn’t really understand the method behind the process, so I was kind of just stumbling through not fully understanding the purpose of certain steps, which is very uncharacteristic of me. And, looking back, if I had taken the time to ask someone to explain the foundation of Spelling to Communicate to me, it would have been a lot easier. But when we were first practicing, even during scattered times when I’d be visiting home, we’d get to some pretty good semi-open answers, and it felt great, but I was never sure – “Is this something I can do?”
I think that’s a big stumbling block for a lot of people, “Well, I don’t know that this is something *I* can do.”
But when we really focused on it, when I moved back here and it was early pandemic in 2020, we just progressed so quickly and it was just amazing
The first open answer question you gave me, we were reading about COVID – the first really open answer you gave me – we were reading about health care workers, and I asked you, “This is a difficult time for health care workers. Do we know any in our personal lives?”
And you spelled “Andrea,” the name of one of our good friends who’s a nurse.
And I said, “Oh, okay! Do you have anything to say to Andrea?”
And you said, “Be safe. Let’s have sushi dinner!” (She’s a frequent guest at our special celebratory sushi dinners). And I was just over the moon – I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone, and then from there, the weeks and months and now years from there. But especially those initial days and weeks, just getting to know you, getting to know how much of you there was to know – oh my gosh, it was astounding!
D: I love that, too! I am so still cherishing the memories from those early days!
T: Yeah, me too. It was such a special time. I mean, it was an intense time, it was the height of the pandemic with so much uncertainty, but there was something just very cozy and nice and rich and just vibrant about that time where we had nothing to do but get to know how to communicate better and for me to get to know you and the whole family to get to know you better. It was such a beautiful time!
D: And I really felt this was my true dawning into communication.
T: Yeah, I’m sorry it took so long to get you to a point where you had communication regularly in your daily life. From first learning Spelling to Communicate with Elizabeth Vosseller in late 2015, to having regular sessions with Dawnmarie starting in late 2018, and then from there, a year and a half-ish until I was with you regularly.
And it’s something I’ll always regret, it was always in the back of my mind that no one was picking this up with you. All I can say is part of it was just hard not knowing a local practitioner who clicked with you and not knowing other families to see that journey and how it might be slow and you might not really notice progress at first, but to still keep going and have hope.
And all that on top of having my own professional path that I’d invested in that I was at the early launching stages of, and knowing that I really wanted to work abroad, and then our mom needing to work, and then just logistics not falling into place.
But I’ll always regret that I didn’t make your communication more of a priority earlier. And I was really glad that I was in a position to do that starting late 2019.
D: I understand and it is a regret but I am so looking forward!
T: Me too. I mean, I’m cognizant of the mistakes and regret, but I use those to motivate what we do together in the future. And it’s still not necessarily easy. There’s still a lot of things that I’m juggling, and I hope that I’m still able to make your communication and your growth a priority. But just for other support folks out there, it does take a lot of effort, it’s not easy, you’re not alone if you think it’s hard. But it’s so worthwhile.
D: Totally! But it is so appreciated.
T: Thanks! But yeah, when the going gets tough, often I think back to how I felt when I first heard of the words you spelled, the words that showed me there’s so much going on in your mind than I ever suspected, more than I ever hoped. And then we started being fluent together and each revelation of how much you could do and how much hope there was for your future and how much of a positive presence you are in the world – that is really an amazing thing to be a part of.
D: Shucks! Okay. So that is it for now!
T: Well, thank you for chatting with me – I appreciate you asking me these questions.
D: Thank you, too! Thank you for watching!
T: And just so you know, Danny does spring these videos on me, so if I wasn’t particularly well-spoken, just know that this is me on very little notice. But this is how we really chat.
D: Totally! See ya, friends!
D & T: Bye!