I just finished reading this book “Happiness Falls”. The central character is a nonspeaker and I enjoyed reading that a lot. The author, Angie Kim, has done a lot of research and has portrayed the character in an empowering way. Here is a short poem on the book.


A nonspeaker’s quest


I am moving slowly

The book is dawning on me

A life on lockdown

And the pages losing letters


The uniqueness of the story

Embellished by intersectionality 

Of identities, incredulity of loss

And a confluence of factors


I laughed and leaned

I despaired and wept

I hoped and shared

I yearned and longed


The happiness journey

Via the rollercoaster of life

The destiny of a family

And its ever evolving baselines


Can a nonspeaker’s voice be trusted

On the most difficult day of his life

When all his life, he was

Buried under vast swathes of doubt?


Is the pursuit of happiness

The most important goal?

Or the futility of these pursuits

The most defining legacy?


-Swarit Gopalan


P.S. Thank you Angie Kim for this labor of love to our tribe.

Swarit Gopalan

About the Author

I am an 11-yr old autistic, nonspeaker that uses letterboard to spell/keyboard to type to communicate.I live with my family in Florida and go to Invictus Academy for school. 
I find a lot of solace in expressing myself through poetry. Music and nature also help me stay in the present, there is nothing better for me than to have my movement create a symphony with nature and to truly enjoy the sights and sounds. Living in harmony with nature is my life’s mission.
Right from the time of diagnosis, we are only told about all things we cannot or will not be able to do. Along with the check that is written to the doctor for the diagnosis, it often feels like our agency is written off too, especially without a reliable communication mechanism.  
Time to change the paradigm with more non speaker voices. It has always been a dream to share my thoughts and perspectives with the world so that I can be one of the catalysts to creating a better understanding of non speakers in general. 
My hope is that my words will help change the world from sympathy and pity for those like me to one of deeper understanding of our lives and allyship to ensure our rights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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