For those who do and those who don’t know, my youngest Shane, 5 yrs old is Non Verbal Autistic with a moderate intellectual disability. Which in short means he can’t talk, we are lucky as he has 5 words under his belt, for him it is huge. Doesn’t mean he will or wont ever talk. So we use other forms of communication like Sign language and Pecs – Picture exchange communication system. However the next phase of communication for Shane is a Speech generated device. This was always on the cards but normally introduced to kids older than 5. As Shane was introduced to Pecs and Sign language early on it means he is ahead of where he should be to be able to use this type of device. Now to the device itself, we are currently in a 3 week trial phase from the company, set up through the speech therapist at his School, he attends Dandenong Valley SDS – Special Development School. A Private Speech therapist can also set these up for their clients. The key info is
- 3 week trial
- It is funded by the government
- Cost $7,000
- 9 month wait on funding
- It uses Lamp words for life (this is the set up we are trialing)
The basic run down of the device is pretty simple and fast to use, it has to be for the kids to be able to use them and function in normal society. Basically its pictures on a screen that you choose from, then press the little man picture and it brings up the word and says that word as well. In short yes this will talk for him and say the words that he can’t. This will become his voice, there are many forms of speech generated devices out there and think the best reference to this is what the great late Stephen Hawking used.