Black background with FEAR written and crossed with pink cross

Popular notions of fear make us believe that there is something external that needs to be feared. It could be an act of nature or the method of a human or a force of circumstances or a myriad other things. It is usually you versus something more powerful and one that can seem insurmountable.


In our case that perpetual enemy lives very much within us. It is a part of us. It is our body, it is very much us. Like a leaky roof that you can never feel safe under, we inhabit a body that is predictably unpredictable. The life of a nonspeaker is a constant battle for survival against one’s own body. Picture that.


So what does life without fear look like, when you are in a perennial state of fear? Is that even achievable for us? I like to think, yes. It is a combination of a few approaches that can get us there. First, making the most of our good body days. Use those days to build up our positive balance of accomplishments and good memories. This is critical for both us and our caregivers. Secondly, continue to discover and build confidence in our bodies. Push to learn where it can be trusted and where it can’t.


And finally building our template for those bad days. While they can come in different shapes and sizes, it always takes a huge toll on us and our caregivers. Getting through those days needs a ton of patience, resilience and a solid understanding of what is achievable on those days. 


Fear can be conquered, even if it is your own body that you are fearing. It takes a bit of planning and effort and a healthy dose of love and goodness on your side.

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.

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