For people who cannot speak, communication does not only mean to express one’s own needs, it also means social inclusion, participation in daily activities and also the ability to make one’s own choices.
We met Federica a few days ago. We were not surprised to learn that she came from a normal home, a loving family with a comfortable atmosphere. A special place that everyone should be able to call home.
The communicator has changed her life for the better, but she has not changed. She still is the normal girl with a normal family and a normal life that we once met.
But let’s take a step back. Who is Federica?
She is a special girl because she never gives up and she has been able to find her joy of life despite her condition.
She is special because she can do many things, despite a diagnosis that is not easy for anyone to accept: SMA1.
Federica lives an intense life, juggling school and traveling, also by boat. Through the years, she has developed her techniques, for instance in order to be able to use many complex programs with her eyes.
As a volunteer of Piccoli Amici of Santa Giovanna Antida Thouret (PASGATh), she creates posters, from concept to graphics, attending workshops and even providing guidelines. Like many other teenagers, she is looking for a job and she is getting ready for it.
Federica scolds people wasting their time and loves keeping herself constantly up to date on social media. We asked her: “How has your life changed using your eyes to interact with the environment and with the computer?” she said: “I was skeptical at first, I thought it would be useless for me because I was used to think that I was able to speak in my own way, especially receiving help from those around me and who do everything for me. But I was wrong.”
“Now I am independent. I can study with my friends, I can say anything I want to without having to worry whether people will understand me. I can use my own style, my own language”.
“This may seem silly, but I can now play games on the computer and chat with my friends”. We are very proud of Federica: she is our girl and we want the very best for her.