Stephen Who?

We were watching Law & Order CI yesterday. It was that one about a woman who was in a "vegetative state" (not a coma, because in a coma the power is on but the lights are out, while in a vegetative state all the lights have burned through. Or something.)

The Superkid suddenly turns around and tells me: Hey! She is like Stephen!

Stammers and points at the sides of his head at the height of his eyes: Stephen is in a wheelchair, and he can talk with his eyes.

I ask: Is Stephen in your class?

He: Yes. And he has a computer and he can talk with it. He looks at a word, and then the computer says that word. Without the computer he just talks with his eyes. When they go up he means "yes", and when he looks down (rolls his eyes to his nose) he says "no".

I: (Because I want to know more about the academic level of this "Stephen" who is in my boys new class and going to receive the same education that he is this coming school year...) Ah so Stephen can do school work? He can read and write?

He: I am not sure. He can make a sentence... he looks at one word and then another and makes a.. a string of words. But he can't write a book.

I: but you know, there is a very famous man named Stephen who wrote a book in that very same way. He is in a wheelchair, but he had thoughts that were so complicated they were very difficult to understand, but when the scientists checked, they were correct!

He: looks confused.

I: and who is better at arythmatic, Stephen or you?

He: (Shrugs apologetically and grins.) I don't know. I am pretty good at arythmatic!


  1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly came to mind immediately as you described this conversation. But that has to do with Locked-in Syndrome.

    Please, who is the Stephen?

  2. The Stephen I am thinking of actually was not always in a wheelchair, his condition only developed in adolescence. You must know of him, you are only confused by your too precise knowledge of (learning) disorders. You are an educator, I am not.
    I don't know what this boy has exactly, all the children have different conditions. The common denominator is their academic level but there is a wide variety there too. As there are only 6-8 kids in one group and two teachers per group always, they are supposed to get all the individual attention they need.

  3. I have a friend who is currently in vegetative state... His family must attend to his needs at all times...

  4. That is tough.

    Does he talk with his eyes as well?

  5. merci a toi, c'est gentil de me la repayer


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