Smith, in fact, had severe spastic cerebral palsy. It’s a condition that causes tightness of the muscles and leads to limited mobility, problems with coordination and severely impaired speech. And when Smith was young and dealing with his condition, there weren’t many opportunities available to him.
Indeed, doctors did not expect that Smith would live very long. Furthermore, it was hard for him to express himself, and he was also unable to clothe, bathe or even feed himself. But Smith had the grit to beat the odds. And when he was 11 years old, a new method of self-expression came to him.
At that time, Smith had come across an old typewriter that a neighbor had thrown away. He started messing around with it – and soon created a whole new way to communicate without the need of speech. In fact, using only a handful of the typewriter’s symbol keys, Smith taught himself how to create pictures.