Monday, February 15, 2010

Exciting New Communication Device!

If you have an apraxic child, this just might be the ticket!  A Speech Therapist brought this to my attention and I think it looks GREAT. Nearly EVERY kid has a Nintendo DS, so they fit right in with other kids, instead of lugging around a Dynavox/Dynamite.   It is portable, and socially appropriate.  You can add a "regular" voice instead of a robot.  It is just $100 a year (if you already have the DS) and has a 30 day trial period. 

Now, I DO understand that some people want speech at any cost.  But COMMUNICATION is more important.  This allows the child to COMMUNICATE, so EVERYONE can understand, not just those close to him/her.  Speech can be worked on, in conjunction with this, but apraxia is much harder to fix than dsypraxia.  Most people with apraxia will never have even, graceful speech.  They may be able to label things, but carrying on a verbal conversation is nearly impossible.  Using a communication device, that is user friendly, is a step to beginning conversations.  Check out Carly Fleischmann.  She has conversations through her typing.

The speechie has a client who has ordered this and will let me know how they like it.  I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Scripting is a term we use for when children will use certain phrases or even whole episodes of "Dora", "Thomas" etc., as their speech.  Children who have been through some interventions will sound more robotic and "rehearsed".   Many times, once you get past the "formalities", they will have more difficulty keeping with the conversation.

Let's face it...we ALL script to some extent: 

"Thank you. "  "You're welcome." 
" How are you?"  "Great, thanks!"

Scripting is part of a social skill that we all are forced to learn.  As long as the child's scripts "make sense" to the conversation, don't correct or be concerned.  

One way that I've seen to help reduce scripting is to join in with it.  If a child is scripting a TV show,  join in with the script.  Then, slowly change it up in a silly way--using the child's name is usually very successful.  If you don't fight it, but join it, many times, it will devolve and will only return in high anxiety situations.
I have one girl who LOVED scripting anything with a '' after it.  Obviously, this does not usually make sense it any conversation.  So we began making silly dot coms, like her name or dog's name and adding dot org and dot net.  Soon, she was asking for the "dot com game".  The rules I had were :

1.)  SHE had to start 
2.)  we couldn't use each other's ideas
3.)   and NO repetition.

Soon, she eliminated this form of scripting.  OCCASIONALLY, she will ask to play the game, but it never lasts too long.  

IF after trying to join in, etc. doesn't eliminate the scripting, it is best to treat it as you would masturbation.  They can do it in the privacy of their room, but not in other areas.  So, if they begin to script, you say, "Okay, honey--you need to go to your room if you want to script/talk about that". 


PLAYing with Passion

Autism, Floortime, PLAY Project