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Being Together. The Illusion of Loneliness and AAC.

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The dominant paradigm of thinking about human relations is still that of fundamental loneliness. In this paradigm, all communication is our feeble attempt to overcome this loneliness, an attempt that is, ultimately, in vain. A Norwegian poet expresses it like this:

I go forth to your innermost gate,
and you go forth to mine.
Within those gates we are both lonesome,
and thus it will always be.

(My translation.)

We all want company, and sometimes we seem to get it. Still, right from the cutting of the umbilical cord, we know, deep in our bones, that we will soon wake up from the dream of togetherness to the reality of loneliness.

Our main means of conscious communication is speech. Thus, being speech impaired just accentuates the paradigm of fundamental loneliness. AAC is our attempt to at least diminish this extra accentuation.

In this encounter, I want us to explore a couple of “what if” questions: What if it is time for a paradigm shift in our thinking about human relations? What if this fundamental loneliness is really an illusion? And what if speech impairment, necessitating AAC measures, could be transformed into a catalyst for such a paradigm shift? What if we were to wake up from that nightmare of loneliness into the reality of togetherness, or, indeed, oneness? AAC users as a vanguard for a paradigm shift of human relations, how is that for a confidence booster?


Thor Sandmel    


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