Searching for the Right ApproachFollowing his diagnosis, Archie began working with a speech therapist who introduced the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) as a way to help him communicate, "but Archie would still become very frustrated, and he preferred to rely on his own vocalizations. The problem was, those outside of our family still had trouble understanding him.”
At age 8, Archie’s therapist reintroduced sign language as another communication option...but... his signs weren’t very accurate, which, again, produced greater frustration... “He always was very attracted to the computer"...Because of this interest, they decided to try introducing Archie to a new speech language app on the iPad. Chris said she was very hopeful that this method would finally help.
A Light at the End of the TunnelIn 2010, Chris met Nikki Blundell, a speech and language therapist in the United Kingdom...she initially set a goal for Archie to be able to use a set of 10 to 20 core words that he could verbally say and would be recognized by people who were less familiar with him. Nikki organized a trial loan of the Vantage Light communication device containing the Unity language software. Within 20 minutes of their first session, Archie made a three-word phrase...“Right from the beginning, it was clear that he was interested”...an anonymous donor wanted to purchase a talker on Archie’s behalf. Chris explains that she was “absolutely staggered"...
Read Archie's full article, HERE.