Be Your Own Fan Club

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, nonspeaking, nonspeakers, Autism, I-ASC, Speller, nonverbal, RPM

Slime molds, an ogre, a genie, and talking, honest guitar strings. Identical cousins and characters from the game Clue. I’ve included them all in songs on my new album, Be Your Own Fan Club. This first collection is geared for a family audience. I’ve been writing lyrics for about a year. My mentor, Brian Laidlaw, writes the music and performs. I had a wonderful time making up rhyming stories and sharing a bit about myself. 

For me, songwriting allows for creative connections. When I offer Brian ideas about tempo or mood, I feel like I’m directing a scene that others can enter. The scene becomes a meeting place where listeners can join in an experience or daydream. I love imagining that one of my songs will make someone happy. 

I’m still writing, and I find inspiration in movies, books, and news stories. I’ve now written about migrations and poker and Beethoven. And ETs and gardens and Groundhog Day. I’m starting conversations that I’ve never been able to have before, as the songs are never just about the rhymes. I’m finding that I have a lot to say. 

Because of my interest in songwriting, I decided to take a course in the history of American popular music at the local community college. That course gave me confidence to enroll as a degree-seeking student. I plan to study English. 

I am grateful that I found my voice through the letter board. I am too shy to get involved in advocacy directly. I am also reluctant to lead with my identity as a non-speaker. I hope that’s never the most interesting thing about me. I wish to lead a creative life with good friends and meaningful work. You never know when a slant rhyme will land just right.

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, nonspeaking, nonspeakers, Autism, I-ASC, Speller, nonverbal, RPMDustin Duby-Koffman is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Eating Broccoli on the Moon and Dedicated to the Seekers. He lives in Rockville, Maryland. Dustin likes to tell stories, many of them true.




The mission of I-ASC is to advance communication access for nonspeaking individuals globally through trainingeducationadvocacy and research I-ASC supports all forms of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with a focus on methods of spelling and typing. I-ASC currently offers Practitioner training in Spelling to Communicate (S2C)with the hope that other methods of AAC using spelling or typing will join our association

2 responses to “Be Your Own Fan Club”

  1. Damon Kirsebom says:

    Loved reading about your accomplishments and aspirations, Dustin. Excited to hear your songs, and to read your poetry.

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