Every once in a while I receive mail at SOI that is not a bill, an order, or junk mail. On this day it was a letter from clinician Betsy Schooley of California, updating me on Alex, who was a student of hers for the past 2 years.
Last year, Betsy explained the resistance Alex had to writing because it was so difficult for him. Not just getting the words on the paper, but the physical effort of printing the letters. Part of Alex’s SOI program was a DFU module.
After speaking with Betsy, and as an incentive for Alex to finish his DFU-I module, I promised that SOI would publish his writings.
Apparently that worked, because Betsy would periodically email me about both his progress and frustrations. To say that handwriting is hard for Alex would be an understatement. It is like torture to him. Trying to form each letter of each word and make it readable is a great challenge.
In September, I received Alex’s DFU module along with notes from Betsy (just in case I had trouble deciphering his handwriting). With the help of Lauren, who runs our publishing department, we went to work creating graphics and typing the written words of Alex. What a joy it was to read!
In the meantime I received 3 emails from Betsy (really Alex) wanting to know if we had received his manuscript and when it would be ready. We finished the publication and sent it off to Betsy!
This week I received the following letter:
When Alex received his book from you, I “called you on the phone” so many times in my mind, that I now don’t remember if I ever talked to you or not!
So, I’m starting this letter, thinking and writing as if I never did talk with you.
Thank you so much for publishing Alex’ book, he was so excited to see it. His first words were, “Could Jody publish more books so I could take them to the bookstores to sell?” He was so adorable in his expressions on his face.
Since the book arrived, Alex and I have had a very uneven schedule not much at all during the summer. I feel so rushed to accomplish the work so we have not finished his thank you note to you. For this is my fault, and I apologize…someday it will arrive.
Meanwhile, yesterday, Alex shared his beautiful, compassionate, empathetic self with me in his SOI writing. I am sending you a copy, so you will know, even more, what a great kid you published a DFU book for.
(Betsy goes on to explain that she lost a pet that she had for 12 years and Alex had been a friend to the pet over the past two years.)
Alex told me it took him two or three years to get over the loss of his pet.
During our session I had put out two or three SOI modules for Alex to choose from. He took the “My Feelings Dictionary” and wrote the enclosed. I know this handwriting is hard to understand, but you will get the gist.
It is a letter from Say Whoop (Betsy’s pet cat). The word that Alex had to write about was “miserable.”
“I am miserable to not be alive anymore. I want to stay so bad with you Betsy. Sincerely, Say Whoop”
I love that kid! Just thought I would share.
One day his dad said that a friend had seen Alex’s book in his house and really liked it. Alex beamed. Yesterday, I was showing a new client’s mom the book when Alex arrived early…I let him have a peek- she was reading his book- he was so proud.
Thank you most sincerely,
The staff at SOI headquarters in Oregon would like to say “THANK YOU, ALEX!” for sharing your stories with us. You made our day!