I struggle with communication. For the last almost 30 years (!) I have made a living as a professional communicator, yet here I am, admitting my struggle. It’s not all audiences that I struggle with. In fact, it’s an audience of one. One 12-year-old girl that happens to be my daughter. It seems to me that lately that it’s impossible to connect with her. She never seems to understand what I’m trying to tell her, and it frustrates me. My guess is that she thinks that I don’t understand what she’s trying to tell me either, despite her attempts to make me ‘get it,’ (“You just don’t GET IT, Dad!”) and I can tell, it upsets her.
I write this knowing that there is no underlying—or amplifying—cause for our inability communicate. It’s her age. Or mine? I hope that it is just pre-teen angst, and I am told by people that have gone through similar struggles that it will eventually pass. That daughters always come back to their dads. That in a couple years, she and I will see eye-to-eye. But this mundane struggle reminds me of how much more difficult communication is for parents and children dealing with autism and speech disorders. How their frustration must be compounded.
It’s this realization that make me so proud to contribute in some small way to The Orange Effect Foundation’s mission. Since they started, the OEF has helped families and children with speech therapy and devices in almost every state of the union, helping to bridge the communication gap between children and the people whom they most want to understand them.
If you think that this is a mission worth supporting, give a little, or give generously, or give your time. The Orange Effect Foundation is doing real good, and it’s great to be a part of it.