Dream big, it costs you nothing. But the time comes when dreams need to become realities. It’s been my pleasure to watch my son’s dreams emerge and grow into something bigger than I ever imagined.
For thirty-seven years, I’ve been a caregiver. Birth trauma left my son, Joshua, with a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. The first thing the doctor told us after he hit us with Joshua’s condition was:’ You don’t have to raise him. They have homes for children like this.’
The doctor didn’t realize it but that one sentence motivated me to go home and prove him wrong. I knew the Cerebral Palsy wasn’t going to go away. But I also knew that what Joshua had would not get worse. The only direction we could go was upward.
We’ve had our share of adventures. And Joshua proved to be a bright, highly motivated young man who had dreams. Dreams that he couldn’t accomplish by himself. But he also has a family that dreams with him and we made sure that whatever Joshua wanted to do, he got to do. The manner of accomplishing his goals might not be done in what would be considered ‘normal’ ways but normal is highly overrated anyway.
It wasn’t until the Tobii-Dynavox came into his life that Joshua could tell us exactly what he thinks, feels, and wants. The computer with a voice has given Joshua a voice. And our world has changed. His world has grown.
Joshua wants to be a writer. And with the help of the Tobii-Dynavox, he can be an independent writer. So here we are, at thirty-seven years old, Joshua is learning how to be a literate adult.
I have communicated with Joshua on a non-verbal level all his life. I know, better than anybody else, how bright he is. But I didn’t realize that the art of conversation involves more than language comprehension. Conversation has to be learned by doing it.
This year, OurHome Studio is branching out. It is no longer the art website for Joshua and Carol Englehaupt’s artwork. It is now encompassing Joshua Englehaupt’s journey as he pursues a writing career.
Over the next year, I’ll be re-designing the website to include Joshua’s writing, as well as our artwork. Joshua has written his first picture book. I’m working hard to gain the skills of an illustrator and cartoonist. He might not need my artwork but I want to be prepared if he does.
Step one is a room addition. OurHome Studio is no longer a virtual reality but an actual place. We’ll be establishing new goals and work hours. This isn’t a simple process. I will be blogging about the journey and our discoveries, as well as the difficulties,we encounter along the way.
Our world is changing. Morphing into something bigger than I ever dreamed. Having a designated workplace will be a big help. We’ve been dreaming and now it’s time to turn dreams into reality.