Although Kathrin is unable to speak, she has got a lot to say. It was her wish to communicate to others what is important for her. As a ten-year-old girl she describes her day. 8 years later Kathrin takes her A-levels and tells us about what she thinks and how she feels. At the moment she is studying education at the Cologne University and is currently working on her Bachelor's thesis in the area of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). She describes her daily schedule as student without acoustic speech in an epilogue.
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All rights reserved.© edition zweihorn GmbH & Co. KG94089 Neureichenau, Riedelsbach 46Tel: (0 85 83) 24 54, Fax: (0 85 83) 9 14 35E-Mail: [email protected]: www.edition-zweihorn.deCopyright © edition zweihorn GmbH & Co. KG, Neureichenau
ISBN: 978-3-935265-24-9eISBN: 978-3-943199-90-1
Kathrin LemlerStefan Gemmel
The way a disabled child lives …
For Mom and Niklas:thank you for always believing in me.Kathrin
Hello, my name is Kathrin! I am ten years old … (1995)
Interview with Kathrin Lemler and Stefan Gemmel on the printed new edition (2005)
Kathrin studies with the eyes – Epilogue to the e-book “Kathrin speaks with the eyes” by Kathrin Lemler (2014)
ISAAC – International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Hello, my name is Kathrin! I am ten years old and I live with my mom and my brother Niklas in a large house in the city. I love music and stories. I read a lot in the afternoon or play with Niklas.
We lie on the floor and fool around and romp together.
Playing with Niklas is not always easy. I cannot move my arms and legs as I would like to. I am not able to walk or sit on my own. That is why I have an electric wheelchair. By using it, I am able to move about.
But unfortunately I just sit in my wheelchair for many hours a day. Often I watch other children run and play together, and I cannot join them. Such moments make me sad.
It is also hard for me to talk. It is easy for me to say short words like ”yes” or ”no”, ”mom” or ”dad”, but I am not able to pronounce whole sentences. Actually, I talk with my eyes.
If I want to have something, I look at it and someone gives it to me. If I want to go for a walk, I look at the door. If I am hungry, I look at the table.
All people who know me understand me. For others, however, it is not easy. It takes a long time for them to find out what I would like to say. This strains every nerve in my body, because I have to try many different ways to make them understand what I mean.
I have had a letter board for a few years now. It is a small board with the alphabet on it. It helps me to talk. I look at the letters to spell the words I would like to say. It is true that it takes a long time, but the board helps me very much.
Before I had my letter board, most people could not understand me. Talking only with my eyes was very difficult and I could not say everything I wanted.
For a long time, I wondered what clouds would feel like, and I wanted to ask somebody why there are handicapped children in the world. Now, with the letter board, I can spell words to make sentences.
I had to wait a long time before I could ask the questions I wanted to ask, and before people could talk to me about the things I chose.
It is difficult to be unable to speak. Often I am very sad. But there is one sentence that I thought up and that my mom wrote in big letters for me: ”Not being able to laugh would be worse than not being able to speak.” And I can laugh very well!
Not being able to laugh wouldbe worse than not being able to speakThis sentence became the motto of my life.
Though I need help from other people for many things, there are several things that I can do on my own. For example, I can read, paint, invent stories and much more.
Once I painted a rose for my mom’s birthday. I asked Niklas to hide it in his room until her birthday. Mom was very happy about it. The picture can now be found in our corridor where everybody who visits us notices it immediately.
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„Das ist wirklich eine großartige Idee und mal was ganz Anderes.”
Mikka liest das Leben...
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