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  • Writer's pictureNoah Seback

Written by Kelly Berg

(originally posted at I-ASC October 9, 2020)


It may be October, but it’s still SPELLTEMBER! A month to recognize and spellebrate the hardest working people we know, nonspeaking people who spell and type! A spellebration of all of the nominees and their Spellebrity Trading Cards can be found here, however today I would like to take the time to introduce you to one of our All-Star Humanitarian Spellebrities, Noah Seback. Some of the questions were answered before our live interview, where I had the pleasure of interviewing Noah, who spelled with his mom and CRP, Nadine. Enjoy meeting a true humanitarian. Noah is described as “An overcomer with drive, perseverance and a tender heart”…and I’m sure you’ll agree.

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  • Writer's pictureNoah Seback

I’m finally starting to do what I’ve always wanted to do. In fact it might just be what I was meant to do, my purpose. Right now it’s only baby steps. But any steps at all are more than I ever imagined was possible. You see, if you spend enough time lying on the ground unable to get up or getting knocked back down the minute you do, then you begin to stay down. You begin to believe that’s where you’ll always be and to even believe that’s where you belong: kicked and stepped over. Just a useless heap in everybody’s way. It’s a posture that once assumed, is hard to overcome. But not impossible.

So what am I doing that I’ve always wanted to do? I’m reaching out to those ‘heaps’ to help them rise, stand and take baby steps of their own. Steps together toward who they were meant to be. And who is that, you ask? Although different for each, it’s anything but a heap.

Maybe you’ve heard my story already: I’m a nonspeaking autistic who had no meaningful future in sight untilI I learned to spell out letters on a letterboard to communicate at age 16. Before that time I endured years of emotional and mental trauma because I was misunderstood and mistreated, yet could not set the record straight. After that time I endured years of emotional and mental trauma because as I tried to set the record straight I met resistance or downright disbelief.

How do you suppose that affected my self worth? My stress and anxiety? My body regulation? My sensory and motor differences? My relationships? My participation in life? My hope? My very humanity?

I’ll answer for you: they all want to hell. And to climb out of that pit I needed a hand. A hand from those who understood and from those who didn’t understand but believed me just the same. As partners we climbed out together. No nonspeaker left behind.

I’m on a mission now to partner with any nonspeaker in a heap of misunderstanding, of body out of control, of fighting/flighting/freezing, of motor loops rendering them trapped, of crushing self loathing, of hopelessness for their future. This partnering is my purpose and my passion. Baby steps that will grow to leaps and bounds, that will grow to nonspeakers no longer bound.

You’ll be hearing more about this quest at qUirk, my soon to be launched mentoring service for nonspeakers and their families.

Think about it: if an autistic who can’t speak and couldn’t communicate meaningfully at all for the first 16 years of his life, can rise from his heap to speak into his own life and into the struggling lives of other nonspeakers, then what’s your excuse for still being on the ground?

Too hard? Too much effort? Too unfair? Too many tries and fails?

Too many excuses.

Get up. Then stay up. Find a hand to help you up until you can manage on your own. Mine is reaching out…

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  • Writer's pictureNoah Seback

Rise up! Out of the paralysis of toxic stress and trauma. It’s time my fellow

nonspeaking autistics!

Trauma?? What trauma? I can sense you neurotypical onlookers wondering, perplexed. So let me paint you a word picture by way of explanation. Fair warning: it is a perhaps a rather uncomfortable, even disturbing image to ponder. But after all, trauma itself is disturbing. Living it is jarring. The wake up call must be as well.

Imagine for a moment that you are lying helpless on an operating table awaiting surgery. You look up, taking in the scene, but your awareness goes unnoticed. Because you are out of it-right? All known experts and research agree that you are not cognizant. Except you are. You are! You lie there powerless to impact the flurry of activity occurring around you and to you. You are considered to be and treated as a nonthinking, nonfeeling mound of flesh.

You can’t cry out, you can’t use your body in any way to signal your awareness, because it just won’t cooperate. You can’t make them realize that you are in there experiencing every bit of this. So they carry on oblivious to you. You sense their disregard for your presence, listen to their flippant unfiltered comments, hear their surgical plans and jargon, see their scalpels and saws, anticipate and feel the pain. You are trapped in your body. No way out. At their mercy. The fear, the hopelessness, the desperation washes over you. You realize that to their minds all is copacetic, but this does little to offset the horror of your lived experience. If you make it through, survive and live to tell the tale, this ordeal will not be soon forgotten.

Now imagine that this ordeal happens to you over and over, day after day, year after year. THIS, my friends, is the trauma. This is the lived experience of a nonspeaking autistic who has no way to communicate and is not presumed competent. We go through life without any control over that life because we can’t control our body to reliably speak or act on our environment. How our bodies do act get us labeled as disruptive, aggressive, weird, dumb and the list goes on. As a result we are bullied, marginalized, isolated, dismissed. All the while the ‘experts’ of our lives fail to see the folly of their ways. To be misjudged and mistreated to the extent that we are on a continual basis is nothing short of serial traumatization.

Gaining a way to communicate and being presumed competent is the first step to rising from this life paralysis. The next steps require wider awareness and access to emotional healing methodologies. Check out my recent presentation at

I-ASC’s SpellX event that seeks to spur this awareness.

After over a decade of being frozen out of a purposeful life, I gained my voice and rose up to achieve greater emotional wholeness. I want this for each and every nonspeaker on the planet. Nothing is impossible. Rise up!

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