Connected through Friendship

Friendship is a funny concept for us autistics. It is the thing we crave but can’t easily find.

Emma:  Ben came into my life very early. Neither of us could talk but we were frequently together. I was very loud and disregulated. Ben was the quiet one and my first friend. He would come over to celebrate my birthday year after year.

Ben:  Emma was my first friend in Virginia. She was in my preschool class and we did everything together. Our families are friends and everyone enjoys being together. We have an understanding about each other. It is perfect and the relationship sustains us. We think we are very lucky.

Emma:  Ben puts up with a lot with me. I am very loud and he tolerates me more than anyone. He is very sensitive and kind.

Ben:  Friendship is forever when you have autism. It is so hard to make friends that you keep them forever. People probably can’t understand our friendship. Most people tell their friends what they need and want from each other which is something we can’t easily do. Our friendship requires only that we find some peace from the world.

The Reason I Jump Premiere

I-ASC:  Ben and Emma’s friendship is featured in the documentary film The Reason I Jump. Based upon the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, the film reflects the sensory, communication and relationship experiences of five nonspeaking and minimally speaking people around the world. Ben and Emma attended the premiere of The Reason I Jump at The Sundance Film Festival 2020. The film won the Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary.

Emma:  it was an incredible experience to be part of the RIJ and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to travel with the film. Ben and I are committed to advocacy and to improving the lives of autistics everywhere.

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.

Posted By on Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 in Advocacy,Families,Motor,Nonspeakers,S2C,Spelling to Communicate

4 responses to “Connected through Friendship”

  1. Ravai says:

    It’s great to finally put a face to her name….bula Emma! Great work Ben! So proud of how far you’ve come. Congratulations on the movie!

    • Elizabeth Vosseller says:

      HI Ravai! Clearly you know Ben from his Fiji days and no doubt heard many stories about Emma. Glad to have you following along.

  2. Deanne says:

    Congratulations! So proud of you both. It is an honor to have you in our life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *