For about three years, a sitcom was aired called “Speechless.” Every time I have seen parts of this show (I can't force myself to watch the whole show) I just shake my head in disgust.

As I understand it, one of the characters is a boy who has Cerebral Palsy (CP) and is confined to a wheelchair and can't speak. Apparently, his wheelchair is equipped with a board that contains all the letters of the alphabet. He wears eyeglasses that have a laser pointer. When he wants to say something, he points to the letters on the board and this makes words which in turn make sentences.

Someone always has to be standing next to him to say out loud the sentences he has constructed on his board. And wouldn't you know it, the family has an intuitive sense of when he wants to say something and is always standing next to him at just the right time. In addition to that, he has a man who goes to school with him to act as his interpreter.

Give me a break. How many kids with CP have a person who goes to school with them to be their interpreter? How demeaning this is. I assume if a child attends school and can't speak, they are taught sign language and their teachers would have to learn it. Haven't the show producers ever heard of Stephen Hawking?

I would be amazed if the Cerebral Palsy Association hasn't complained. The show is in bad taste.

Ronald Lee Standley

Rock island

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