Blog by Hannah Barnes, Communication Specialist, Poem by Matteo Musso
Hammer had the privilege of welcoming Matteo Musso and his mother, Annette Musso, to our most recent all-staff meeting. Matteo presented his journey to communication after 12 years of silence.
Matteo is a 14-year-old with autism. Two years ago, his mother discovered RPM communication, in which she uses a board with the alphabet displayed on it to communicate with Matteo. Matteo will spell out his thoughts. It is difficult for Matteo to communicate his thoughts verbally, so this is the perfect solution for him.
Matteo impressed the Hammer staff at the meeting, as his personality came out when he communicated his thoughts through the alphabet board. He discussed his passions, such as writing and art, and even shared a few of his poems and songs with the group.
The experience was eye-opening for the Hammer staff, and it was incredible to hear his amazing story. Matteo is truly an advocate for those living with a disability, and he helped display the fact that just because someone cannot verbally communicate, it does not mean that they have nothing to say. This was an important message for everyone to hear.
Hammer’s staff members weren’t the only ones impacted by the talk. Matteo observed that the group had open hearts, and he felt welcome. After the meeting, he shared a poem he wrote for the Hammer staff:
THEY CAME TODAY
By Matteo Musso
Dedicated to the Hammer Organization and all of their Employees
They came in today to assure our care,
They knew that they’d find me, waiting there.
What energy will they bring with them today?
What will we do? Just watch TV or play?
I wonder if they have realized yet
That inside my head, such deep thoughts are kept.
And inside my heart, different things live,
Such colors of thanks for all that they give.
They may not have known, those things yesterday,
But today is brand new; they’ll know it, I pray.
I may not be able to tell them with words,
What’s trapped in this vessel. It sounds absurd.
There’s brilliance and yearning, a thirst for knowledge,
There’s intelligence trapped that’s worthy of college.
There’s an artist, a singer, a gymnast, a poet,
And one who loves people, but just can’t show it.
A teacher is in here who’s earned a degree,
But not in math or biology.
My degree has been earned in a Liberal Art,
Whose textbook is written from deep in the heart.
Be kind and courageous, give of yourself,
Put books about judging, back on the shelf.
Attend graciously, the classes taught,
By professors of the heart, you didn’t know that you sought.
Assume the intelligence and competence in me,
And then you’ll be shown who you’re meant to be.
If you so desire, that is, way down deep.
You’ll recognize our gifts, no more secrets we’ll keep.
Discard the box that has trained you so well,
Forget right and wrong ways of communicating and tell,
Everyone you know, there are more ways to live,
And more ways to love and still more ways to give.
* * *
They jumped out of bed, eager to greet the new day and experience all it has to offer. For it is a gift of opportunity for you, and for all those who get to enjoy you. And bright colors of gold, blue and green surrounded them like a colorful cloud of peace.
And they felt our thanks.
Thank you for sharing your amazing journey and work with us, Matteo and Annette!