What a year it’s been!!

Last year on this date I shared with the world about the incredible communication breakthrough we had experienced with our son Stone. We were only 4 months into the journey and it really was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of learning about his capabilities, thoughts and dreams.

There has been so much more discovery and joy since that time and it’s just as

exciting now as it was then.

A year ago we were hopeful (very naively it turns out) that we would be able to incorporate the letter boards and a communication partner into Stone’s school. We were flatly denied by the Edmonds School District and then pulled him out of his high school so he could begin pursuing his passion: learning.

In early June I shared with everyone that Stone had started school at Brightmont Academy and was writing poetry. I have a framed copy of this poem in my office (along with a picture of the two of us) – the perfect Father’s Day present.

He just completed his first semester of high school algebra and is close to wrapping up his Environmental Science course as well. Later this month he’ll be adding English to his schedule and he’s thrilled. His writing has expanded and he’s been writing a story about a non-speaking boy named Victor (because he comes out victorious) that is at times inspiring and other times heartbreaking. He’s nearly finished with it and once it’s completed, formatted and edited, I promise we’ll be sharing that with the world too (and I promise it will blow you away).

But that’s not all! A few weeks ago he told Meg (his Spelling practitioner) that he was interested in writing a song too. So he’s doing just that. I won’t give too much away yet other than say the “hook” (and most likely song title) is “Speech can suck it” and here is the initial chorus (shared with Stone’s permission):

“These professionals
The teachers too
They don’t know you
They shut you down
And make things up
I’m here to say
F*** it
Speech can suck it”

I’ll end this update on a high note. For the first time Stone has friends. There is an online group called “Spellers Ohana” which is an opportunity for Spellers from around the country to get together via Zoom and talk with each other weekly. They share stories, experiences and even jokes! The love and appreciation they have for each other is just so pure and special – they all understand each other’s perspectives and challenges in ways most of us never could. In the most recent call, the group rallied around the idea of getting together for a Spellers cruise this summer. This would give them a chance to connect in person and share a new experience. I hope it happens.

There have been so many firsts since Stone has started spelling – it truly has been life changing. We go to movies as well as baseball and football games. He loves them all. When he has downtime around the house and I’m trying to get work done, he’ll ask to watch lectures on YouTube. What does he like? Quantum Physics classes from MIT (yes, really). He and Ty have started hanging out together more – going to the mall or beach (in nicer weather). It’s really been special to see the twins finally be able to bond after living separate and parallel lives for so long.

I can hardly wait to see what the next year brings for Stone and the rest of us as he continues his exciting new journey. Thank you to all of our friends and family who have been so incredibly supportive of Stone. If you didn’t know, he’s on Facebook and sharing his own personal posts. Feel free to friend him if you want to connect with him personally – he would love it!

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