This incident that happened long ago at the inclusive Centre for children which I mentioned in my earlier post too, made me stop and think….think about life and things in life which we take for granted…..the spoken word, for instance. How do we communicate? Through words…..have we experienced a social interaction without words? Well, when I did about ten years back I was speechless!
The Speech therapist had advised the parents of Deepak, the ten year old boy who was unable to speak, to bring him in the evenings to this Centre. According to her, socializing with kids of his age would be beneficial for him. Deepak had very bright, expressive eyes and a smiling face. He immediately mingled with the kids on the swing and continued to participate in all other games that the excited group of children played through the evening. I did not even get a chance to introduce him to the others as I did with any other new child. Deepak was very regular and his parents were happy to see that he was spending his energy at the right place.
After about a week of his joining, one evening a kid came up to me and with a confused expression on the face asked a very direct question – “Aunty why doesn’t Deepak speak?” I was startled because I was expecting it a lot earlier. For a week Deepak was just another kid at the Centre, whether he spoke or not did not matter to the children. They accepted him as naturally as they accepted the one with a different dress or a different hair style.
I actually started wondering at and appreciating the power of non verbal communication after this…..