For many people who meet me for the first time, all you might see is my tracheotomy (a tube in my neck that allows me to breathe), my weak left side, my walker and my big smile. Soon after you’ll understand that I don’t speak. Many also think that I don’t understand what they are saying or they talk down to me like I am a little kid.
My name is Todd Richardson and I’m one awesome guy. I’m writing today to set the record straight.
I want people to know that I fully understand everything that is being said to me. I understand many types of languages, I use sign language and my iPad to speak. It hurts my feelings when someone comments on my trach. I know it’s there; I know what it looks like. I see it every day.
I want people to know that I love talking to my friends using an app on my iPad. “Handsome William” is the name of the voice that I use. My iPad allows me to communicate with my friends but also important medical needs to my nursing staff. I primarily use my walker and at times my wheelchair. I love playing soccer, baseball, going for walks, boat rides, Beyond 21 and watching the entire Fast and Furious movie franchise. Can you believe I even bowl?! With the use of a ball ramp and my support worker I get a few strikes!
My name is Todd. Don’t limit me. Come say hi! You’ll be surprised.