Symbol Secrets

Back in the early seventies, I received funding from the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, to publish a book about the children in our first Blissymbol classes. It was an exciting project, providing a glimpse into the type of experiences we had, as children used Blissymbols for the first time. The changes in their lives were profound, as they learned to share their thoughts and imagination. Our classrooms grew from a part-time class in the basement of the Ontario Crippled Children’s Centre (OCCC), now the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, to two full-time classrooms in the school wing. Throughout our initial program and its expansion, we were supported by an interdisciplinary team of committed professionals. From this early beginning in 1971, the use of Bliss spread to 32 countries and 17 languages. When our Bliss archival collection is completed, there will be many more experiences to share. For now Symbol Secrets provides a beginning!

On Sunday Aug. 2, Don Heights Unitarian Congregation devoted the zoom  service to sharing the creative accomplishments of members and friends. There were presentations of humorous short stories, thoughtful reflections, and, best of all, three children’s stories. One was a loving tale about a friendly giant and a lost butterfly, called The Princess Butterfly, written by Bev Gorbet with her young students many years ago. One was about a pig that angered his fellow farm animals by biting them until one day he learned to stop, accompanied by a song, by Chris White. This story and song had been written when Chris was a teenager, trying to stop his very young brother from biting family members. Lastly, I read a section of Symbol Secrets, sharing the fun we had in our early Bliss program. There was a bit of a mix-up with no sound accompanying the video of Symbol Secrets at the beginning, but we were able to rectify the situation by my reading live. 

I was delighted to share part of Symbol Secrets with the Don Heights zoom group, and I invited them to hear the end of the story here, at Blissful Thoughts.

I hope those who come to our blog for Symbol Secrets will leave their comments for the Bliss users and friends who are regular Blissful Thinkers.

Symbol Secrets by Shirley McNaughton

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