A Child Finds her Voice… What if You Could Help?

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She was eight years old. She sat in her wheelchair unable to move any part of her body on her own. Her dark eyes seemed deep in thought, knowing.

Her parents said she was not able to speak. Doctors had told them she was too disabled to understand the world around her. They adored her, cooed, smiled, sang and spoke to her with loving, kind voices. I watched as her eyes looked to them and shined for them, and thought to myself, “If only eyes could speak, she would have so much to say.”

Her parents wanted her to experience swimming with a dolphin.

Girl w DolphinI watched as they stretched her body & found ways for her to be comfortable. As they held her in the water to feel free, I watched her eyes and thought, “If eyes could smile, she would be beaming back to her parents.” It was only her eyes that could move. I imagined what she saw; imagined what her eyes might be saying. Her parents insisted that she had no ability to comprehend and, even if she did, no way to tell them.

I watched how her eyes followed them as they moved around the room.

“What if she could speak with her eyes?” I exclaimed. “Lets try something…”

We brought in a speech-activated computer that uses eye gaze to activate speech and set it in front of her. She was told to look at it and when she looked at the picture, the computer would speak for her. We showed her over and over again how it worked. We put a photo of her mother on the screen. When told to look at the photo, she did! The computers voice spoke, “Mama.”

I looked up. We were all crying. Between tears, her mother said in disbelief, “She said ‘Mama!!’”

“Yes, she said mama!” That happened at Island Dolphin Care.

What if you could help a child find her voice? You can. Make a donation to Island Dolphin Care online at www.islanddolphincare.org.

Click on the donate button. Please.

We appreciate your support, which helps us continue to bring joy to the many families who visit us at Island Dolphin Care. Thank you.

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