by Ian Aronow (transcribed from letterboard by Pam Aronow)
Hi. My name is Ian Aronow.
I am so excited to spell my true feelings and thoughts to you all!
For most of my life, I pondered the world from inside my mind. I lived without being able to tell anybody what I wanted or what I was thinking. Most of my learning came from not doing, but from listening to everything and everyone around me. Can you imagine not being able to talk but still understand everything around you? I couldn’t get my mouth to say the words I wanted to say. My energy went toward defending myself against the onslaught of sensory input bombarding me relentlessly. My body moved in myriad ways to cope with this crazy hell. What this made me look like was an awful mixed-up child who didn’t love his parents or siblings. I always did, but back then, I couldn’t show it because my body failed mightily to do what I wanted it to do. How awful it was to not be able to show love and basic human intelligence. Broken with thinking that I would always be trapped inside my mind, I would become wild with fear and longing for a way out.
All my life hidden away from the world–until I found a way out through RPM and spelling on a letterboard.
My journey began in Colorado when RPM was introduced to my Mom and I by Josha and Kaegan Smith. From the moment I placed my hand on the pencil and my eyes on the letterboard, I felt at home. Do you have any idea how amazing it felt to know I could find my due with this method? Music exploded in my head. It was everything. I finally had promising and hopeful feelings for the future. Josha understood that I was intelligent and believed in me from the beginning. Kaegan was my inspiration. He was spelling on the letterboard to us. I was floored. I wanted to do that too!
That Colorado trip was a departure from the world of no voice. My mom and I came home and proved to the world that hard work and determination on the letterboard could make a wordsmith out of me. It wasn’t always easy, but it was so worth it because now I can spell to you all, everywhere.
Excited to continue this journey with you,