Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Whitney's New Talker

Last week Melanie dropped by Whitney's school for a while to receive some training on Whit's new assistive communication device. That way Whitney can bring it home on loan for the evenings and weekends and we can keep working with her.

The device itself is a simple board with a grid of pictures that Whitney can press to express different things. Whit's speech teacher programmed the device to say basic things like "yes," "no," "I want," "crackers," "Signing Time," "Blues Clues," "I'm mad," "I have to go the the bathroom," etc. Then she added a picture for each one so Whitney would know what each square says.

Whitney's birthday was last week and we had a few of the neighborhood kids over for a small party. So we had a few birthday phrases added to Whit's "talker." I shot the video above as Whit was practicing saying them so she'd be ready for the party.

So far it's her talker is still more of a toy than a communication method, but we're going to work with her consistently. Maybe someday this device will be a way that Whit will be able to open her circle of friends up to people who don't understand her signs or limited vocalizations. It's wonderful to have technology available today that makes the miracle of communication so much easier.


Jenny said...

That's fun to see her sign thank you and then push the button. Taylor has had her communicator for a few months now and is finally starting to figure it out. That one looks much simpler. It is so neat to see them be able to communicate other than sign. The kids in Taylor's class really love to hear what Taylor has to say. Hang in there with the potty training, we are finally down to only a few accidents a day now and we have been going strong since Christmas break started. It will come. It still amazes me how much the girls look a like.

Jenny said...
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Nate said...

Thank, Jenny! I've been pretty discouraged about the whole potty thing. But Whit did go about 2 hours yesterday without an accident, so there is hope. Glad to hear Taylor has progressed so far. We'll get there someday. :-)