How do you explain to strangers that you are OK when you have fallen in the street and lost your ability to speak coherently?
How do you say "don't help me up by pulling my arms because they will dislocate" when you cannot talk?
How do you reassure the people worriedly flapping around you that this is all within 'Normal' and you will be fine shortly?
And how do you deal with the fear of knowing this is likely to happen and you will be helpless to stop people from damaging you by well intentioned, misplaced 'help'?
A friend of mine faces this every time she leaves the house. I too have problems with intermittent speech issues and a body that does things that worry people while I'm simultaneously unable to explain that I am fine.
So we thought up a solution: Stickman Communication Cards! (sorry for the long column of pictures - the slide show didn't work)
I made a set for my friend. But fell in love, so made some for me too.
Professionally printed, laminated, and on a keyring. Small enough to slip into a pocket. Easy to hold, easy to flip through. And fun - not a disability aid that leaves me feeling inadequate and embarrassed, but one that has such style and glee that I'm almost looking forward to having to use it!
With them in my pocket I feel so much safer, knowing that if my body throws a strop at me in public, I have the tools to deal with it. I hope my friend feels the same!
The concept can be easily tweaked to suit all sorts of 'non-verbal, important communication' scenarios. Anyone interested in a set adapted to their needs can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org