Kate Winslet's Passion Project

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Keli Today

How is Keli, the boy profiled in the film, doing today?

Margret moved from Iceland to Austin, to be near the HALO Clinic, where Keli began learning how to communicate with a word board and typewriter. He's 14 now, very tall, and he actually has several words. He spends part of his time in a mainstream school. The thing is, this was a kid who was allowed to watch Teletubbies all day long because that's what his parents thought he understood. Now, at his new school, when the kids are playing Jeopardy, everyone wants Keli on their team. That's how smart he is.

One of the loveliest things...we spent last Thanksgiving with Margret and her family. There was this gorgeous moment when Margret and I were cooking in the kitchen, and Mia and Joe were just hanging out on the couch with Keli, watching television. That's what you want. You want typically developing children to see no barrier between themselves and the child who cannot stop moving his hands, and can't speak.

What do you feel grateful for?

I was thinking about this recently. My daughter was playing the lead role in her school play, and she did a super-great job. But of course there'd been a lot of nervousness beforehand. When it was all over, and we were in the car going home, I said, "Okay, for the next five minutes, everyone must make as much noise as possible." And we all just screamed. And I thought, I'm so grateful for their health, that I can watch them grow and change and run and leap; and for my health, that I can be there and be strong for them. But also, at that moment, I just felt so grateful for their voices.

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Continued on page 5:  Why I Wrote This Book

 

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