Thursday, August 24, 2017

Open Communication

Holly writes:
I would love to know how easy or difficult it was for you to begin open communication after mastering pointing to letters or typing. Thanks!

To Holly,

Open communication was a hard-won victory for me. I longed to communicate openly all my life. I found it impossible until I learned RPM. I am going to tell you why open communication is hard. Talking takes all the energy I have. Day to day I use language in my inner thoughts. I hear my own voice. It sounds perfect in my own mind. Getting my thoughts out is lots of hard work. My mouth won’t say my thoughts. I badly want to talk but I lack what it takes to translate thoughts to speech.

I had to learn to spell my thoughts. Spelling is easier because I can point better than I can speak. But it was hard to learn. I had to learn how to control my body to stay focused through onslaughts of other competing thoughts and every sensation. I learned to spell on a stencil and how to think more thoughtfully so I could peacefully make opinions and describe my feelings. At first I learned to spell answers to facts about subjects. Then I learned to use my reasoning to solve problems. Back when I was learning I had a hard time not being distracted. Stims and impulses fought with my brain to get my body to disobey. I needed my mom’s presence and prompting if my brain were to win. I tested my brain to make my body stronger at following commands.   I made myself listen to my mom to keep myself focused.

Going from an academic subject to open-ended communication was like learning to ride a two-wheel bike. I needed support from the training wheels to learn the motion of riding the bike. Then I needed confidence to know I could do it. When I first rode a two-wheeler I was completely shocked. I was not sure I could ever do it but once I did it, it seemed so natural. That is how open communication happened for me.

Open communication is different from all other responses. Recalling facts is easiest. It only takes retrieving them from their storage. Reasoning takes letting a few thoughts out of storage and joins them together. Open-ended communication involves being able to extract a thought from an ocean of tangled thoughts. Some thoughts are silly. Some are annoying. Some are sad. The thought that wants to be told must untangle itself slowly and with gentleness. I make my thoughts come out by typing letter by letter because I must slow down to get my words out. I am patient because being quick leads to impulsive answers I don’t mean to make. I think I will talk someday but I have to be patient.  

Open communication is what allows me to be free in my soul. I can be understood. I can now let people into my life. I can exchange ideas with them.  I can advocate for myself. I can make goals for myself.  I can teach. Open communication lets me be free to live.


Talking with fellow blogger friend Rhema

Copyright 2017 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Summer Vacation Part 3- Outer Banks

I had an amazing time at the Outer Banks. I cannot mention everything that happened because there was so much. We went to Outer Banks to celebrate my Lolo and Lola’s 50th wedding anniversary. There were about 40 of us vacationing together. They were my mom and aunt’s families and their cousins’ families and my great aunt and uncle. A couple friends came too. We stayed at a property on the beach. It had 3 houses on it. I was meaning to get to know everyone but it is hard when there are so many people. I made the best of it by listening and hanging out. I think my extended family is a lot of good people who are loud and fun. I loved feeling loved by so many people.

Every day we had fun laughing. I learned that laughter teaches people how to relax. We laughed a lot being silly and telling funny stories. I liked listening to family banter. Talking is a form of playing for many people. I didn’t join in talking much but I quietly made myself a part of the group by hanging out. Besides talking my family played lots of games too. They played Texas Hold Em and mahjong.  I backed my parents to win but they didn't. I stayed up really late because everyone was up all night.

I liked going to the beach everyday. The beach was nice. I basked in the sun and water. I loved the sands softness and the water’s cool refreshment. The waves were rougher than in Mexico so I didn’t go in as far. But I still enjoyed it.

I made lots of good memories. I went to the sand dunes and went on a hike. I saw beautiful sunsets. I saw the Wright Brother’s memorial. I learned about the first flight at Kitty Hawk. I learned how Outer Banks used to be a remote sand bar before people built it up for tourism. 

Lolo and Lola had a big party. I was so proud of them. They have been married for 50 years. We had a surprise party where we all wore the same shirts. There was a beautiful cake. People gave toasts. Lolo gave a moving speech. I saw people cry. I think he is right about the importance of being able to get together. We later ate and took pictures.

I loved my trip to outer banks. I will always remember the good times with my family.

Copyright 2017 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Summer Vacation Part 2- Virginia

I enjoyed Virginia a lot. I got to see Virginia Tech. it was a big and beautiful campus. I think Carlos would like going there. He likes physics and math but he doesn’t yet know what he wants to do. At V Tech lots of students major in engineering. Carlos probably will do mechanical engineering. I have liked visiting different schools. I learned that people sometimes mean to go to college to study a particular field, but may change their minds. It is part of life to make changes in what you are interested in.

The next day my family went to a small town called Damascus. We went there to mountain bike. I was scared. I did not know if I could ride a different bike than my own. I thought I might fall off the edge. I almost stopped the trip from happening. In my fear I became paralyzed. This happened while I was in the bathroom where the bike shop was. My parents had to drag me out. I could not move my feet. Then I had to get on the shuttle bus to get to the top of the mountain. My body rebelled. I started lunging at my dad. My dad fought back. Mom told him to get out of the way. Finally the shuttle driver sat with me. She was very kind. She told me that I will have fun. I poured out the rest of my distress by cradling up to mom and crying softly. When I stopped crying I felt better.

We took a long drive to the top of the mountain. I felt a lot better. I started to think I would be ok. When we got to the top, I felt nervous and excited. I loved the view. I could better see the trail and it did not look difficult. I got on my bike. I started down the trail. My dad, sister, and brother went ahead of mom and me but later I lead the way. It felt so exhilarating biking.

I saw streams with fresh water, green forests, flowers, and bridges over valleys and water. The air was refreshing under the cool shade of the forest. Riding down the mountain was not scary. It really was fun.  When we were done, we bought some souvenirs. I got a shirt and sticker. It was my favorite bike ride of my life.

The next day we went to the University of Virginia. It was another beautiful campus. Thomas Jefferson founded and designed the school. It wasn’t what my brother liked. Maybe it was the fact that the Ku Klux Klan was holding a rally at the town park nearby that turned him off. 

Our last stop in Virginia was Smithfield where hogs and hospitality is their specialty. The town looked cute. We went to a restaurant where they had barbeque. I had a very good hot dog. I liked Virginia and hope to visit again.

Stay tuned for the last part of my vacation in the outer banks.

Copyright 2017 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.