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.