Through The Power Of His Eyes, This Boy With Cerebral Palsy Was Empowered To Write A Book

"My eyes became my voice."

Jonathan Bryan, an English 12-year-old living with severe cerebral palsy, may not be able to communicate with his voice — but he's learned to communicate a different way.

In an interview with This Morning earlier this month, Jonathan's mother, Chantal, explains that when she was pregnant with her son, she was in a car accident that caused his CP. Doctors told Chantal that her son would never walk, talk, or breathe for himself. 


But Chantal says that "there was always that glimmer of hope with Jonathan," and since then, Jonathan has learned to communicate with a spelling board — or an E-Tran frame — so much so that he's authored a book.

To write, Jonathan looks at the spelling board to spell out words he wants to write down. Chantal shows how Jonathan looks at a square grid on the board, marked with letters, and then looks at a color that corresponds with the letter he wants to use. It takes "hours" to write a book Chantal adds, but clearly, it's worth it.

When This Morning host Phillip Schofield asks Jonathan what he wants to see achieved from all of this, Jonathan, using the board, says: "I want all children to be taught to read and write." 

Jonathan's memoir, Eye Can Write, begins from his mother's perspective before switching over to Jonathan's, CNN reports. The book discusses his life with CP, his faith in Christianity, and more. 

Moreover, some proceeds from the book are donated to Teach Us Too, a U.K. charity whose focus is to promote an educational system children of all abilities are taught to read and write."

On his website, Eye Can Talk, Jonathan writes about who he is and how communicating through the written word has changed his life.

"At 12 years old my friends and I like very similar things — Lego, aeroplanes, music and baking. Sharing banter in the corridor at school is also a favourite pastime.

"But if you met me in the street, you wouldn't know any of these things, instead you would notice a small boy in a wheelchair, unable to speak.

"Until I was nine years old I would not have been able to write this," Jonathan writes. And then, "my eyes became my voice."

Jonathan's site also holds a collection of his written works, including the following poem entitled "The Author of Life":

"Beauty breathing through my soul,

Cradling arms tending my frail frame,

Sheltering rock whilst life's storms rage,

Dancing with quaver beats of joy,

Anticipating Love's beckon,

Home in the garden forever."

You can read more from Jonathan here.


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