My life has not always been this fulfilling. The first five years of my life were not very pleasant; there were some dark days and nights. Then I went to live with my now family, that was some 23years ago and my life changed to what it is now great.
I find movements very hard as I have Cerebral Palsy and I am non-verbal. I had speech therapy for many years and tried many different types of communication books and devices. The teachers did not follow up on a lot of the programs as they did not believe I understood anything. My Mum (foster) believed that I knew quite a lot and I could not get my message out to agree with her. She insisted that I went to a main stream school for some of my school years. It was for two days a week, so I could learn what my peers did. I graduated from year 7 with all the class; this was great as I was one of them. Then I went to high school for two years, this was a little different but I enjoyed that as well (two days a week).
Mum was always looking for someone to believe that I could communicate. It was not until some five years ago that I meet a speech therapist through a friend who had a different approach to communication. She believed that I would be able to use the QWERTY board and a thing called FC.
Alice encouraged us to go to Brotherhood to meet all the writers and experience what it could be like. I was very shy at first as I had never been involved in anything quite so amazing to see all these non-verbal people writing stories. It took me some time to believe that I could write as well; it was never expected of me before. It was amazing when I wrote my first piece. Everyone congratulated me; it felt so good. At last I was with people who believed.
Being able to use FC as my communication has opened many doors for me. I have made a DVD on “My Life through my Eyes” (my life story so far). I have been invited to many conferences as guest speaker and to present my DVD. I have been to Melbourne, Sydney, Lismore, Rockhampton and many more. This is what I would like to do to Inspire people to have a good life, and that it is possible regardless of the disability.
Mum has also compiled a book of all my poems that I have written and I hope to get it published soon. I have a friend Barry Charles, a Jazz singer, who has recorded one of my songs on his CD. I have written songs for the drama class that I attend for the end of year concerts. I would love to write a musical so that is my next project; I just have to get the right person to assist me.
I would hate to think what my life would have been like if Mum(Carol) had not come along and rescued me; had we not met Alice or been introduced to FC. It has been very rewarding for me to be part of the Brisbane Writers Festival, preform at Woodford, and write for performances with the assistance from our Poet, David (Ghostboy) Stavanger, who inspires and encourages us all to do what we love doing.