May 22, 2013

Finding a Voice

"Hey, Rachel, smile please" - this is what I get.

A while ago, I had a meeting with Rachel's teacher and speech therapist to talk about some things and to update her IEP. At that time, I discussed my concern for Rachel's speech and her ability to communicate with those around her. At three and a half, Rachel still does not talk. She has sounds that she substitutes for some words but they are not something anyone would understand. She also has signs and while she has a pretty expansive vocabulary with those, it's not enough. There are days she stands there and signs at me "more" and that is it because she doesn't know the sign for what she wants/needs. I hate seeing Rachel so frustrated because there is that barrier in her way. I asked her teacher and her speech therapist when we would start looking in to alternative ways for her to communicate. Her teacher suggested that she would start using the Go Talk 4 with Rachel in class and her speech therapist would use it during therapy time. I said, ok, let's do it.

About a month later I contacted her teacher and I was told Rachel was doing great. I set up a meeting with her speech therapist and I got to see video of Rachel using the device. It was pretty cool! The speech therapist recently attended a conference where she learned about the Acccent. This device is more advanced and has many more options for works and phrases. We have started the ball rolling on getting this device for Rachel. We are all very excited to see how this helps her. I want her to be able to talk to anyone, but especially me. I would love to know what really is going on inside that little head of hers. Hopefully, this device with bridge that gap between knowledge and speech until her speech catches up. The end goal is for Rachel to be verbal, and hopefully some day she will be, but I am not waiting for that to happen while she sits frustrated and misunderstood. I'll update as we learn more.

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