As Speech-language pathologists, Occupational therapists, and Mentors, we have the responsibility of reminding the parents of our clients that they still have something to give thanks for. They have children who are capable of communicating with the communication devices, when they may not have had this opportunity if they were living in a third world country. Communication allows the children to be in general classes and to have “typical” lives which is something to give thanks for this holiday season. As a team we work together to make sure that the clients are correctly positioned to be able to access the communication device and the controls to drive their power chairs without injuring themselves.
The children are then able to do the “typical” activities that their peers are participating in; such as sports and being in general classes. Communicating allows children to demonstrate knowledge and to call out plays in a sports game. The ability to communicate with a talker allows the individual to call out a move to their teammates while driving the power chair to play. If the families seek out various therapies when their children are at the pre-school age they are going to be able to be active at an early age. This teaches the child that anything they want to do is possible if they want it badly enough and work at achieving it. I believe that if the child can be pushed at an early age that they are going to learn that certain aspirations are expected of them from the family, the IEP team and eventually from themselves. The children who understand this from the age of seven will go farther in life than the children who never understand this concept; I know as I have worked with both types of attitudes.
The families with significantly physically disabled children must remember to give thanks for their children’s unique abilities and thanks to their custom-made equipment allowing them to be children. The children I work with have a full school day and games or practice on weekends. The assistive technologies that we work with them on independently operating, allows them to grow up doing normal kids’ activities while earning a high school diploma which the families should be thankful for this holiday season. As for us professionals we should be thankful that we are able to help our clients to reach their full potential with the help of assistive technologies.
Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children