“Locked in” boy defies medical opinions after finding a way to communicate

A young boy who was left unable to communicate with his family for the first seven years of his life has finally found a way to “speak” to his parents using a spelling board.

Jonathan Bryan, aged ten, had been starved of oxygen in the womb after his mother Chantal was involved in a serious road traffic accident.

This left the youngster with a severe form of cerebral palsy and since birth he has been unable to move or speak.

Both medical professionals and staff at the special school which Jonathan attended had given up hope of being able to communicate with him.

But his parents refused to give in and they eventually made the astonishing discovery that despite his profound disabilities, their son has a fully functioning mind.

From that point on Chantal had started to teach her child letters, phonics and numeracy for an hour every morning. In a newspaper interview, she described the breakthrough which enabled Jonathan to spell out whole words using eye movements.

“It was a beautiful moment,” she said. “That was the point he found his own voice. I realised I could ask him anything. My husband Christopher and I had tons of questions but we had to be careful.

“I asked what he didn’t like. He said having his face washed. You can’t underestimate how wonderful it is to be able to have a conversation with someone you love so much and in some ways know so well.”

Since that day he has continued to make remarkable progress, using the technique to write a letter to the Education Secretary calling for more support for non-verbal children in schools and penning a 500 word story for a Radio 2 competition.

EnViva Paediatric Care, our experienced staff can provide complex nurse-managed homecare for babies, children and young people with conditions including cerebral palsy. For more information about the services we provide, please contact us

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