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