Real LifeWe have an almost four-year-old client enrolled in our Autism Treatment program. She is non-verbal and until recently was not able to make purposeful sounds. Because her receptive language skills were strong, we introduced an AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) device to enable her expressive language. (You may have seen one of these devices on the TV show "Speechless"). In just two short months, this little girl learned to navigate her device like she's had it for a year. She is able to greet others, make requests, sing along to songs, and so much more! Last week, during therapy, she was frustrated because she was challenged by a task. She went to her AAC device and told her therapist, "I hate you. Leave me alone!"
Now, some people might have been appalled she said that, but it was music to us! This little girl found her voice and for the first time in her life she is able to express herself! Not only did she teach herself how to navigate to new pages in her device (we definitely did not target saying "I hate you.") but she is making comments that a typically developing child would blurt out.
These small steps lead to big changes for parents raising a non-verbal child.