Monthly Archives: January 2015

Using speech therapy: Coming into Existence

Coming into existence

The month of February is when I came into existence thirty-five years ago; it was also when my parents found out their first born had disabilities. As a young couple new to a country the last thing you want to hear the doctor saying is “your daughter has severe Cerebral Palsy”. After the diagnosis, it still took my parents as while to grasp the gravity of my type of Cerebral Palsy. If you sense there is something not quite right with your baby, follow your instinct and demand for a neurologist to scan their brain. As I have stated in several blogs proir, the earlier we’re able to discover a disability, the sooner the child will be eligible for services.

The sooner your child is evaluated for a diagnosis, the greater their chance of receiving therapy to aide in communication, because we are catching the child in the early stages of when natural speech begins to develop. Living a life with a speech disability does not have to be different from anyone else if the individual has access to the right assistive technology. the right communication device becomes apart of the child.

When I work with a student who needs a new communication device I take notes on their usage of their current device. The individual is usually going to have the same type of talker for majority of his or her life because of their unique access method. A child can never come into themselves if they don’t discover their voice. My job is awesome because I have the opportunity to assist a child with coming into themselves and their newly discovered voice.
If we stop to think about communicating, we have been communicating from the age of three. I have been fortunate enough to have people around me notice my body with limited speech and mobility yet understand I am perfectly cognizant and aware of my surroundings. Most of the clients I work with are typical teenagers in bodies that don’t function the“normal way”. And I can tell you now they are just like any able bodied teenager probing into my life. Give your child a chance to create a life and come into their unique personality by giving them a voice.
In my 30+ years of living with severe disabilities I haven’t felt differently from my able body peers. New parents might not believe it now but you want to hear your child working towards the goal of moving out and living on their own. Low technology is that first step towards their road to independence because it is going to build up to the child using a talker independently. A voice in any form is giving the individual a start to independence. Take that scary first step and then your child will grab the steering wheel and lead you down the path.

Until Next Time, Enjoy your children.

Speech Pathology: Language is Power

Language is power

When we think of intellectual and intelligent life, language is in the core of the definition. To have intellectual is to have the faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively (especially with regard to abstract or academic matters). To be intelligent is to have the ability to acquire and apply knowledge. Language, intelligence and intellect shape today’s civilization, so why would we deny a severely physically disabled child with cognitive capacities speech?

I have a belief that if a child is able to gain the appropriate adaptive equipment, he or she can have a impact in the world. A disabled child is not any different, as most of the time they have the ability to achieve the same academic goals as their able body peers. My peers and I all graduated with honors from college, therefore can you imagine what would have been missed if we had not gotten our communication devices at an early age?

A communication device gives the world a chance to see the person inside the unconventional body. I hate when a parent says their child can’t speak when the child is right there communicating with their device. This is extremely disrespectful to the person who is clearly communicating with their talker. My parents have slipped up a few times by starting to say this, but catch themselves and tell people I communicate with a device.

Communication does not have to be one way, it comes in all forms. So start working with your child early and when the right device comes along you will see the child blossom and start to thrive. Children are incredibly resilient and will figure out a way to tell people what they need quickly. Communication is power and everyone deserves to have access to that power. I have lived thirty-four years with severe disabilities but I have made a life for myself by being able to communicate. Give your child the opportunity to create a life for themselves by providing them a voice.

Until next time, Enjoy your children!