What would you tell someone who isn’t using a communication aide, but might be considering one?
Communication devices can make all the difference in the world! Speech is the hardest part of my disability, so assistive technology has been the greatest way I can express myself. It will certainly take a while for someone to learn how to use a communication app, so they will have to be EXTREMELY PATIENT!
When I first started using AAC, I would only use the keyboard with word prediction because I was too lazy to search through the dozens of pages to find the already pre-programed phrase I wanted to say. It simply takes time to master which phrases are on what pages, but you will eventually get it.
What would you say to parents who are just starting the AAC journey with their child?
Like the person who is actually using the AAC device, the parent must also be EXTREMELY PATIENT! If a child is learning how to use Proloquo2Go or Proloquo4Text on an iPad, I highly suggest that the parent use the same app on their own iPhone or iPad. Mom and I did this when we got our first Macbook’s, since we didn't have iPhone's or iPad’s back then. Mrs. McKee insisted that mom get her own computer so she wouldn't have to take my computer away to learn the system in order to help me. Modeling is the key!
How does your disability affect your communication?
Speech is the hardest part of my disability. When I was little, my first form of communicating was through very basic sign language. When I got to Danbury, though, they knew my speech could be clear enough to decipher, so I had tons of speech therapy. I still remember my signs, and they are like a natural instinct to me.
It may seem like a surprise to many people that every other part of my body is much easier to control than my mouth muscles. If people are around me often enough, they can understand that I move my mouth differently in order to make my sounds clear.
Communication apps definitely relieve a lot of anxiety for me! When people see me using technology, then they really see who I am. If one actually thinks about it, there are all different kinds of ways of communicating these days!
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
As a fully dedicated customer, I am proud to grow with the AssistiveWare Company and learn how to use their new software as I need it more and more as I get older. Thank you AssistiveWare Team, for making a gigantic difference in my life through assistive technology!