a moment unfolds
I see in his eyes,
The twinkling of ideas,
The thoughts he wishes to express,
But which his speech still fails to produce.
His own frustration at his lacking,
Is thick in the air,
Despite his best efforts,
It isn’t enough,
And he doesn’t know why.
And it forms deeper cracks,
In my already fragile heart.
But we seek out options,
And to help facilitate his inability to converse,
We trial a talking device by way of a tablet –
Touch Chat – Multi Chat 15 Student.
To which he exceeds our expectations,
A picture based application,
Which similarly to Key Word Sign,
Allows him to initiate conversation via basic,
Most commonly grouped needs,
And suddenly the world is opened up,
A whole lot wider.
And how he smiles.
With verbal prompts from us,
He can respond to basic questions,
That which he cannot yet say simply with speech.
And as he explores it more,
And I modify it appropriately for him,
Limiting the choices which expose confusion,
Shuffle the layout to best suit his motor abilities,
Before we know it,
He is able to tell me via his Talker,
“I want – to play – bubbles – pop”.
He no longer has to be the follower,
The receiver of ideas,
But now instead,
Speech still a fundamental focus of his development,
Beneficial not just for his voice,
But also for this app,
So whether he is using the touch chat or not,
Have him attempt to answer with voice,
As well as with his device.
One doesn’t replace the other,
But go hand in hand,
Expanding his learning capabilities,
For both platforms,
And imperatively limiting such profound frustration,
Allowing him much needed more time to find the words to say.
As we saw with his signing,
He adapts beautifully,
And his competence,
And then a moment unfolds which I’ll never forget,
Taking my breath and filling my eyes with tears,
Of pure love –
He navigated to the Toy Dolls page,
Where the Talker told me upon his selection “pretty” –
To which he followed-up by spoke word “mamma”,
Pointing to me with a smile from ear to ear.
My boy thinks I’m pretty,
And so he told me so.
I thought my heart would burst with love.
He is the most beautiful human,
Inside and out.
And at that moment I see just how much this device can offer him,
More than I anticipated,
And for now,
Is a perfect addition to our lives.
And I just can’t wait until he tells me I’m pretty again,
And whatever other weird and wonderful things,
He wishes to share.