Today’s post is a continuation of Naoki’s short story. Here, Melissa shares her thoughts:
One day I was at my desk talking to Kinsey and then I received a calendar invite from her with the heading, “I’m Right Here” for April 13th. My initial thought was, “Duh, I am talking to you”, so I asked her, “What is this about? What do you mean I’m Right Here”? Interesting sideline in comparison to my chapter—is this how Naoki felt all the time? He was right there, communicating but the conversation wasn’t making sense or was one sided?
In this chapter Naoki states he attempts to tell this story to show the pain of not being able to express himself to the people he loves and as a way to connect us to that feeling, for understanding and empathy. I find his story, much like the rest of the book, a style not pleasing to me or easy to read and laced with my skeptic thoughts of how much of the words are really his. It is a story of being on the outside looking in and although attempts to communicate are there—no one can hear him. You are privy to his attempt to use expressive language as a ghost, with an angel, in Heaven, and finally back on Earth giving the reader a glimpse into watching others respond to ineffective communication and the heart of the person attempting to communicate.
I can’t help reflecting on these questions and would love to see others thoughts as well:
* How often do we miss communication from our students with and without autism because it isn’t traditional expressive language?
* How many times have I not seen a student who is right there?
* Time—Naoki mentions many times about the concept of time—how often do we let time drive our communication expectations?
* Finally, how many times are we the actual person on the outside looking in?
I will leave you with a quote from this chapter that struck me. I loved when Shun said, “The future is a thing we build”—how true, right?