Roy Wakes Up
The A.R.T. team had such fantastic success with those we worked with at a disabilities center in Florida, we knew we had blown the staff’s minds.
Having proven the efficacy of our approach, having so clearly demonstrated how A.R.T. is a giant leap beyond other current approaches, I asked the staff, “Who is the hardest to reach of your folks?”
To which as one they declared, “Roy.”
“Can we work with him?” I asked.
They told us there was no way Roy could do A.R.T. He can’t do anything. He does not engage in anything.
To this I said, “Can we work with him?”
The thing many do not realize is the least engaged individual may not be unable but ‘on strike’. Imagine your days included nothing where you could break out and really do your own thing. After enough years of this, you might clam up and let the hours float by. We have worked with lots of people who were totally on strike, who woke up for us. Lots of them.
They rolled Roy in, his eyes shut tight. He will not open them for our tracker.
We got a big board, taped a big sheet of paper to it, placed the head-mounted laser on Roy. So the laser is on, and the paper on the board is being held fairly near his face, and the ruby laser is trained on the paper and the Tracker is holding a pencil. No response. Of course, no response if Roy keeps his eyes shut tight.
The Tracker stands there so long staff get restless, one of them saying, “I told you Roy wasn’t going to do it.”
After more and more time even our Tracker feels awkward. Always the cheerleader, I encourage him, “Hang in there.”
Then, with all the people in the room squirming with embarrassment for our failure, Roy, sensing the tension, the silence, and that he may be the center of this situation, he can’t hold back from taking a peak, and opens one eye, just a little bit.
Yes! He sees the ruby bead. When he moves the slightest bit the Tracker traces the path the light has taken. A very short, very tentative path.
Roy waits. Thinks. Then opens the other eye. He moves his head, the laser moves, and a line appears. This, the first time he has ever made his mark.
Roy makes larger moves, draws longer lines. He does a few curves, then a spiral, one of the staff calling out, “Roy is drawing!”