During my time as a teacher-candidate at Brock University, I was expected to take a half-year course on Special Education.

For the first few weeks of the course we were introduced to the laws and regulations regarding special education in Ontario, as well as some of the more common exceptionalities that we would most likely encounter in our teaching careers, such as autism and several behaviour disorders. All of it was engaging, informative, and our instructor was a true riot. The course was only weeks away when we were informed we'd have a special guest coming in, on short notice.

It was then we learned about Scott.

We didn't actually meet Scott. His mother was the one that introduced him to us. See, Scott can't. See that is. Nor can he hear very well (the doctors think he may have partial hearing in his left ear). He has cerebral palsy, was born without eyes (didn't develop at all in the womb) and had a horrible reaction to vaccination when he was one and a half years of age, leaving him almost completely deaf and also brain damaged. They also believe that the medication that he requires to stay alive has both damaged his sense of smell and his sense of taste.

Scott therefore only lives in the world of tactile, and they're not even sure if he understands everything he takes in from that sense either, because of possible nerve damage due to the vaccination.

His mother is an amazing woman, don't get me wrong. She and her husband run a very successful driving instruction school across Canada, so they have the resources to keep Scott both in school and with nurse almost 24 hours of the day (she estimated the cost at $85,000 a year). She tours schools in the area (sometimes with Scott in tow, other times with her husband) to educate people about Scott and his life.

And what a life he's had! Travel to Europe, Africa, and Australia. He has his "own van" (which is actually driven by his "peers" from his high school, as long as they hang out with him) as well as a hot tub and personal trainer. He has met the Prime Minister personally (twice), and also had dinner with then Vice President Al Gore. He's been to Disneyland, Canada's Wonderland, and a few Six Flags theme parks. He been to numerous ski lodges, engaged in water skiing and horseback riding, he rode in a tank with the military and travelled in Europe by hot air balloon.

Problem is, I believe he has no idea this is what he has done.

His mother gleams with pride, saying that Scott is always happy. But how do we know? He can't speak at all, and the six hand signals he uses to communicate with the world are for such words as bathroom, hungry, and thirsty (and even his mother admitted that these signals are used very seldom and are often mixed up).

But the kicker came when one of my fellow students asked Scott's mother what she expected him to do after high school (he was "graduating" later that year, at age 18). She said that it was all settled: Scott wanted to be a public speaker.

My jaw dropped. She continued that Scott likes to educate people about his multiple conditions, and how he lives through them, so they were going to go on a circuit to educate people.

It ocurred to me, after hearing this and watching a short video on Scott (where they showed him being tied to a toboggan and shoved down a hill, and also showed him "swimming", which is actually Scott floating around in a small pool with a half-dozen floatation devices strapped to his body) that in fact his mother was using Scott as a puppet. Nothing more than a doll for her to walk around and talk through. All of Scott's adventures, in a way, are for his parents.

But what I still can not even begin to imagine is what goes through Scott's head on a given day. He doesn't cry, he doesn't laugh, he doesn't speak, he doesn't really communicate at all with the world around him. All the while he is dragged across the globe and set up in front of people and admired and brought on adventures and experiences life to the fullest that any human being can imagine to.

But how much of it does Scott really know is happening?