Communication is one of life’s gifts to bridge the miles : Talking over the phone, exchanging emails and texts and writing letters, I did them all yesterday. Although I enjoy the electronic media of this blog, Facebook, email and Whatsapp, there really is something special about receiving a letter or card through the post I think, yet it seems to be a dwindling art. I enjoy reading and re-reading a card and putting it up on the mantelpiece to admire. I also re-read emails as a record of how someone was feeling in a moment of time, which I enjoy, but they are still no substitute, in my view, for a handwritten document that someone has gone to the trouble of writing and posting. We received a postcard from my sister’s holiday on the day that she was setting off back home and I already knew their news as we had been in contact daily, but I still love to receive a holiday postcard as it signifies somebody sharing their holiday joy, while showing that they were thinking about you. I beat my Texas postcards home, but that was still not the point and I re-lived my trip when I read my words home.
Joshua has been deprived of the ability to read and write, so he will not send me a postcard, email or a letter in the future. It is not fair or right that Joshua has been deprived of one of the joys of my life, but that is my interpretation only, Joshua has never known any different ; His verbal communication is pretty limited, but is very effective. His few words express his basic needs : ‘mummy’ ‘daddy’ ‘cake’ ‘No’ ‘Show’ ‘bath’ ‘bed’ and ‘Go’. He can get quite a long way with that vocabulary . But he relies upon non-verbal communication to express how he is feeling : he beams and glows when he is happy and similarly, effectively withdraws when he is not impressed by bending double and going to sleep with his face on his lap. Joshua makes it very clear who he likes and who he does not like, being very generous with hugs, and even kisses, with his favourites.
I am pretty certain that Joshua does not feel deprived by not having the ability to read and write, and unlike some of his peers with special needs, he does not currently exhibit their frustration at not being understood. While his needs are being met, Joshua appears to be content enough with his life, which is the best that I can ask.