Raising a child with special needs always presents new ideas to consider. Lately I've been stewing a lot over assistive communication devices. These are gadgets that can be used by those who don't speak to play sentences aloud for them. I think the technology is terrific and there are many who benefit from this type of device.
The reason I'm spending so much time thinking about this topic is because several people at school have suggested one for Whitney recently. I guess I hadn't really ever considered this for my little girl because she and I and Melanie and the rest of our little family all communicate well using American Sign Language. Whitney gets upset a lot more often because she can't have what she wants than when she can't communicate what she wants. Why would I want her to have to learn yet another way of trying to communicate?
I asked Melanie that exact question and she had a good answer. What about all the other children in the neighborhood? Whitney can't talk to any of them. Other than us and a few other signers out there, she's completely cut off socially. Good point.
But can she really pick up yet another method of communication and use it effectively in her everyday life? Will it be a good fit for an active little girl who's already packing gadgets in her ears to hear? Would a device like this take the focus off actual speech skills? We haven't given up on Whitney speaking. Will this work any better than the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) program that Whitney totally didn't get? Who knows? I'm just full of questions and I'm seeking answers. I'll be sure to share what I find.