Yesterday, I wrote a note of encouragement to a mom and her 10 year old son as they are just starting out on the letter board. I feel this charge to share this letter on my blog to help many other families that may be new to letter boarding. The names have been changed to respect the privacy of the mom and her son. I hope my words and story can help you too.
Hi Wendy and Paul,
My name is Ian and I am 16 years old. I started my journey on the letter board when I was 14. It was the best thing that I had ever experienced. I knew it would work to help me in unlocking my voice. Can you trust that Paul understands this too? You will not work toward fluency without believing and presuming competence. This means that when Paul looks bored or totally resistant that you keep going. I used to yell, “letter board away” and my mom would work to help me get purposeful. This was good because I did not want her to stop even though my body kept appearing to hate it. That is part of this body/mind disconnect that people like Paul and I experience. Our bodies totally fail to convey what we think most of the time. I could not talk my body into spelling on the letter board. My mom did that, knowing that in my heart and mind I wanted it.
My family made doing this worthwhile because I could not wait to be able to talk to them. Sometimes this strong desire worked against me by making my body spin out of control. And this is why my mom talked to me about staying with it and being patient with my body. I am thinking Paul would prefer knowing that you have confidence in his work toward communicating to you. He may partly feel worried about the change in your relationship, but mostly he wants it. It was amazing for me to have this experience of a deeper relationship with my parents. To me, life is so much more fulfilling now that I can interact with some family and friends. It is a miracle.
Paul may be younger than I am, but at 10 years old, I could have made progress with the letter board. My brother is 11 years old and super intelligent. Assume that Paul is like that and you and he will make waves.
Best Wishes, Ian