As I sit here at my computer, I find myself surrounded with a graveyard of techie stuff that isn't working, or hasn't been properly activated, or maybe was purchased by mistake and never returned. The most recent tech crisis has focused on brand new iPhones I ordered for both my dear hubby and myself. After about 10 years with our old mobile devices, I thought we were due for an upgrade.
Note to self: Anyone who can't find the time to even make an appointment with the wonderful folks at the Genius Bar should probably seriously consider revamping their life!
Eagerly I jumped right in, never thinking that it might be wise to do this one phone at a time. Attempting to activate both phones at the same time caused us to be hopelessly disconnected from the world of texting and what used to be called "long distance" phone calls or messages, once the old phones were declared "dead" and the new ones hadn't yet been brought to life. It was a strange feeling. Scary to think how dependent on these devices we have become!
And then there is the printer that isn't working, the projector that was such a good buy, but is useless because I haven't found the right cables to connect it to my laptop. And on and on; you probably get the picture.
Lesson learned is this: We all learn things in small increments, we all need lots of help along the way, we move forward with fits and starts, and sometimes we get stuck. Sometimes we even say we have reached our limit and prefer to stay right where we are. I have friends, after all, who refuse to enter the world of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the rest. I even have a few die-hard friends who have never used a computer. They are all good people and have decided that books, newspapers, TV, radio, maybe even face-to-face conversation work just fine for them.
So it goes for all those people I encounter who still think that a person who is unable to speak, or who talks but doesn't make much sense, is probably "intellectually disabled" and incapable of learning anything beyond basic living skills. Or those who observe the process of supported typing (Facilitated Communication or Rapid Prompting Method, or any variation) and say this can't be real. Or those who observe the process, listen to my stories and the stories of others, and don't change the way they interact with these individuals. They aren't there yet; they need a Genius Bar to walk them ever so gently toward a new way of thinking.
And I need to be patient, without losing hope. I need to hang in there and keep telling my stories. I find new inspiration every single day as I support people in their communication. But most of all, they really do want people to believe they are for real. Seems to me we have all waited long enough to be taken seriously.