Cheeks Speaks, Vol. 1

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The author with his letter board.

As promised, I’m handing over the soapbox to Cheeks from time to time. We have a list of questions posed here and on Facebook, and he chooses which one we will tackle from a question jar. I read the question(s) and he spells his response.

A few notes to understand about this methodology:

All text written in capital letters is Cheeks’ originally written material, because he spells on a laminated board that has all capital letters. At some point in the future if he begins working on a keyboard, that text will appear exactly as he enters it.

Communication partners (in this case, me) never edit or correct a speller’s words. He has spent his whole life not being able to share those words, and so I honor his original thoughts by leaving them exactly as he spells them.

Finally, his answers may be short but they represent a lot of work. It takes enormous mental energy for him to execute purposeful movement, such as point to the right letters with accuracy. I am sure that readers of this blog will see his answers become lengthier with practice.

And so, without further ado:


This question was posed on Facebook, by Kristi E., who asked: “What is something you want to be doing by, or in, the year 2020?”

I WOULD SAY MY AUTISM DOESN’T STOP ME VERY MUCH REALLY.  MOST QUIET BOYS WANT THE SAME THINGS AS OTHER BOYS. TWO YEARS FROM NOW I WANT TO STILL BE LEARNING NEW THINGS.

Our friend Kurt R. (the creator of Cheeks’ pseudonym) asked, “Do you like being called Cheeks McGee?”

IT’S NOT SO BAD.

And lastly, Brandie S. asked about her favorite number. She is aware of Cheeks’ synesthesia and wanted to know,  “What color is 47?”

FOUR IS WHITE. SEVEN IS DARK BLUE. I SEE DIGITS AS SEPARATE COLORS.


He loved being able to do this and I’m sure he will want to do more going forward. We have several questions in the jar already, but we’re always looking for more. Feel free to post comments here or via the “contact” link above.