Utter Autism

June 12, 2007

Good News from Our Speech Therapist

Good news from the speech therapist today.

First, she had a chance to look at the programming I’d done and yes, she liked it.  While I didn’t need her ok (Adrian’s use of what I’ve made is satisfing all by itself), I must admit I’m glad to have her stamp of approval. 

Last time I programmed Adrian’s device I got some oohs and ahhs from various teachers and therapists.  But I didn’t really trust them.  The folks giving them really didn’t have a lot of experience with devices like these so they might have been impressed with anything I’d done. 

But our speech therapist now, well, I trust her.  She’s programmed devices before.  She’s good at what she does.  I’ve seen her in action and have a great deal of respect for her professionally.  So when she says it’s good, my work is validated, my insticts proven trustworthy.  And trustworthy instincts are invaluable in my line of work.  With a non-verbal child, sometimes instincts are all I’ve got to go on.

 Ok, enough of my insecurites… on with the other good news.

Adrian’s class had some down time between activities during which they were encouraging the kids to sit and relax while waiting.  The speech therapist suggested to Adrian that he play his Lion King song.  (Id programmed a few of the buttons to play his favorite Disney songs. )  He surprised her by easily navigating to the correct page and playing it for the whole class to hear.  She said everyone listened to the song and when it ended, they clapped and cheered for Adrian and his wonderful device.  She didn’t say how Adrian reacted, but if I know my boy, he probably laughed. 🙂

She’s been working hard with Adrian on using his device to type in words.  This activity helps him work on his typing and reading skills while using his device to speak the words for him.  This is very similar to what I did with Adrian a couple of summers ago.  We used the Personal Communicator software availible from Michigan State University.  He would type in the word on the card I gave him and the program would show video of someone signing it and also speak it at the same time.  It was a highly motivating activity for Adrian.  I highly recommend this software.  It’s easy to use and very reasonably priced.  As soon as the computer portion of our DynaVox V is opened, we’ll be installing this program!  I just came across the flash cards with the words the other day so I think we’ll start to practice these at home as well.

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