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  1. ITV Report

The ten-year-old who talks with his eyes

Jonathan Bryan enjoying a joke with his mum Chantal Credit: ITV News

A ten-year-old boy from Wiltshire has learnt to communicate using just his eyes - despite being told by doctors he would never be able to.

Jonathan Bryan from Chippenham is so profoundly disabled that the only way he can properly communicate is by moving his eyes.

He was born with cerebral palsy after his mother was severely injured in a car crash when pregnant.

His parents were told he had profound and multiple learning difficulties. He was not taught to read and write at school until his mother stepped in, unlocking a chatty, articulate personality which had been waiting to be set free.

He was able to choose from pre-selected words, but he was then able to choose words and I realised then he was writing every word, he was writing a story.

He was unlocked and we could ask him anything. And it was wonderful to be able to talk to him properly and ask him anything.

– Chantal Bryan, Jonathan's mother
Jonathan Bryan is able to communicate with his eye movements by using a letter board Credit: ITV News

Jonathan's eye movements are subtle, but his mother and carers can recognise them, enabling them to spell out his answers letter by letter.

Do you think he was written off? Yes, educationally I feel there is a poverty of ambition for children like Jonathan, and there was no aspiration that he might be able to read or write.

– Chantal Bryan, Jonathan's mother

Our correspondent Ken Goodwin had the following conversation with the ten-year-old, using the letter board:

So Jonathan what is it like to be able to talk to your family and friends?

"It is wonderful to tell them I love them".

What was school like before you knew how to do this?

"Special school was boring and I felt like a bird in a cage".

Jonathan writes his own blog and has started a petition to persuade the Government to campaign for a better education for severely disabled young people.