My Life: Locked in Boy

CBBC – 05/02/2018

Jonathan’s mum was involved in a car crash while pregnant, starving him of oxygen. He was born with cerebral palsy and only able communicate with a brief smile. Doctors said there was no hope for Jonathan, he would never learn to read, write, or communicate in any way. But his mum believed if she could help Jonathan unlock his thoughts – Jonathan would prove the doctors wrong and he has.

Using a special Perspex board, like one used by Stephen Hawking after he lost the ability to speak, Jonathan can ‘talk’ by spelling out any words, and this feisty pre-teen has a lot he wants to say and do. He has a reading age well beyond his years, goes to a mainstream school, has a petition to help other children like him signed by over 180,000 people and is even writing a book of stories and poems.

This is Jonathan’s film, who for the first 8 years of his life was ‘locked’ in his body. Available on iPlayer now.

‘I know my life is going to be short, but I have a lot to accomplish to give other children like me a voice.’

This informative, moving film is authored by Jonathan, an extraordinary, smart, funny, ten-year-old, who for the first eight years of his life was ‘locked’ in his body – unable to speak or communicate.

This is the first My Life film authored by a ‘non verbal’ child. It begins with Jonathan choosing one of his best friends to be “the voice” of his film, telling his story through Jonathan’s own words.

In the last two years, with his mum’s help and through his own will and determination Jonathan has learned to ‘talk’ with his eyes using a special spelling board. He says his mum believed in him, even when the doctors had given up. Now ‘unlocked’ Jonathan takes us on his very personal mission to give a voice to other children unable to express themselves, from presenting his petition to a government minister to reading his own story to his hero Michael Morpurgo.

This is a heart-warming and inspiring film which will give the audience an insight into the often-hidden world of children living with profound disability.

Press Coverage of My Life: Locked in Boy

From the Daily Mail:
Jonathan’s story is told in the inspiring documentary series My Life for children’s channel CBBC, but it’s a programme that should be watched by the entire family. You won’t see a more poignant or heart-warming illustration of the strength of the human spirit than this half-hour show.

Read the full article here.

From The Times:
His gift has been to find his voice and make good use of it. I can’t think of anything more any parent could want for their child.

Read the full article here.