Giving a Voice to Those Who Cannot Speak

AAC technology gave him a voice!

“Mommy, did you see that airplane? It looks so little. How can people fit in it? When I get big, I’m gonna go in an airplane and I’ll wave to you when I pass our house. Can we have meatballs ‘n’ spaghetti for supper tonight? And can I stay up late now ‘cuz I’m five and a quarter?  Mommy, how come babies don’t have any teeth? Mommy, I have a big boo-boo on my finger. See! It’s giant! Can I have a band-aid? Mommy, how come my thumb goes out sideways and all the other fingers go up straight? Ooo – Abba just came home. I’m going to show him my boo-boo.”

Mommy breathed a sigh of relief as the kitchen became quiet. Finally. But it wasn’t always that way. It was less than a year ago that little Eli*’s vocabulary consisted of a total of ten words. Four years old and only ten words! Even those were unclear and difficult to understand. E. was born with a chromosome deficiency that manifested itself in severe developmental delays. They were advised to begin an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) program and borrowed a communication iPad from Ezer Mizion’s AAC Lending Library which provides hi-tech communication devices together with guidance, advice and support. The family’s efforts to boost his speech soon began to show results and Eli* began repeating words he had never spoken before.  The family was amazed but their amazement soon turned to disbelief when Eli*’s vocabulary broadened and he uttered his first sentence. Things began to snowball after that and one year later, the family returned the ipad. Why? It was no longer needed. Their child had become fully verbal.

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Giving a Voice to Those who Cannot Speak

Yonit- AAC- Bulgaria conference - 11 19b
International AAC Conference held in Sofia, Bulgaria

Life goes on. Tuesday is similar to Monday. We know what to expect. And that knowledge brings us security. And then one day, life falls apart. He becomes a stroke victim, lying on a hospital bed. Nothing is the same. Even his body has changed. What he could do easily in his past life now may be impossible. He is trapped in a nightmare and can’t seem to wake up. He needs explanations, he needs reassurance and he needs simple basic needs fulfilled, needs he cannot do on his own. Now, when he needs so much, he is unable to express himself. He tries to tell the nurse that he is thirsty but she doesn’t understand his garbled sounds. His loved ones try so hard but they, too, are unable to communicate. His daughter cries in frustration. She wants so much to help. She tries several possibilities but he continues to ask in his unintelligible speech, becoming more and more upset that he is unable to convey his thoughts and needs with those around him. More than 62% of stroke patients suffer through this demeaning and discouraging challenge. The stress, the anguish greatly hinder the healing process. But he remains at an impasse, unable to move forward. Continue reading Giving a Voice to Those who Cannot SpeakFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail