Monthly Archives: February 2015

Communicating To Obtain Independence

Communicating on your own is truly how I define being self sufficient and independent. My professional motto is getting students to the level of communicating efficiently and independently in order to increase their chances of having a better life. When I see doctors or attend a student’s team meeting I communicate independently with my aide in the background. Communication is the key to the to creating a better life for ones self and more importantly they will be able to stand up for their rights when people try to abuse them.

I went to school for a degree in Women Studies and Sociology which helps me understand children’s rights in the public schools. Under current laws every child has the right to public education and the district has to provide children with all of the necessary essentials they need to succeed. When I was little I had a fantastic team who demanded that I be placed in regular classes. As soon as a parent or a professional can sense that a student has “normal intellectual abilities” I strongly urge them to put the pupil in general education. I believe that because my device has assisted me with communication I had the ability to demonstrate my intellectual abilities.

The individual will grow up with the same expectations as an able bodied adult. The communication system will give her or him a lot of opportunities for a life in which will be fulfilling and normal. I am that locked-in person who without my device on people assume is intellectually disabled but as soon as aides connect my device people quickly understands that I am like them.

A locked-in individual has the potential to earn degrees and hold a job they love. I do not judge a client before they have their device on because I have no information without talking with the pupil first. As professionals in the disabled realm you cannot afford to take a client at face value. Students with severe physical and speech differences are most of the time at the top of their class. If my readers take anything away from my blogs, take this away, your clients are just children who need devices to assist them in having their own voice in society.

Until next time, enjoy your children.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy The Importance of the Device’s Proper Positioning

The Importance of a Device’s Proper Positioning

When someone chooses to become a Pediatric Occupational Therapist they know their job is to figure out different avenues for a patient to accomplish different daily tasks. The occupational therapist knows more about the body’s mechanics and can better position the communication device for comfortable communication and do it better than a speech-language pathologist could do. The positioning of the communication device is extremely important because the child needs to use this device every single day.

The mount and the access method are primary steps of the process for mounting the device to the child’s wheelchair. It must be comfortable and easy for the child to access. The person who uses the device needs to feel at ease when communicating with the AAC system because they are going to be using the talker constantly. If the individual is uncomfortable using the communication device, they are going to either stop using it or develop chronic pain. I have severe chronic pain and I can attest that once an individual develops chronic back pain they will have it for their entire life. As a team, it’s everyone’s task to discover the perfect fit to prevent the client from discomfort during their usage of the talker. Talking is how someone showcases their personality and knowledge, so the occupational therapist must find the ‘sweet spot’ for the client’s use over long periods of time.

I have been communicating with communication devices for over thirty years now and if I am out of my wheelchair, trying to use my device unmounted, I can’t even go half of the speed I normally use my talker. As a parent, you want to insist that your child receives the right communication device and the right placement of the talker. The correct placement of your child’s talker is going to make a world of a difference in how successful their communication will be. As an occupational therapist, your job is vital because you are the carpenter building a voice. Parents -Fight for the right talker and mount and watch your child blossom.

Until next time, Enjoy your children