nonspeaking does not mean nonthinking

Since early 2020, I have worked as the primary Communication Regulation Partner (CRP) for my brother Danny Whitty, a nonspeaking autistic & apraxic writer and advocate who uses Spelling to Communicate (S2C). Prior to this, Danny had no means for reliable communication in his daily life; prior to 2015, we had no idea he could communicate. His introduction to S2C that year was his first opportunity to really communicate in his 30 years of living.

It’s been a remarkable, life-changing, astounding journey, and we’re just a few years into Danny’s – and my – exciting new life. He’s now a published author and well-known advocate on social media.

Beyond supporting his actual communication itself, I function as his executive assistant, agent, mentor, occasional teacher, and collaborator. I manage logistics for his Danny With Word social media accounts (FB, IG) and website, as well as his Leo in Bloom online magazine.

We have developed a concept note for an innovative program for advanced learning & community building for nonspeaking adults, and hope to be able to pilot at least elements of it in 2023. In January 2023, I began the S2C Practitioner Training program with International Association for Spelling as Communication, to support communication access for more nonspeakers and to be better equipped to work on future community building and education programs that we develop.

This is the most meaningful thing I have done in my life.

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