Hello again and communication

Sorry it has been so long since I posted. I needed to break from blogging for awhile; autism has been very hard on me the past year. I am only now kicking around the idea of blogging again because I always want to have my voice put there to be considered among young, non-speaking autistics, who use assistive communication.

Speaking of assistive communication, I have been learning to use Proloquo4text this year. It is an app on iPad that has superior intuitive predictive text, so that I can really say what I want to quickly, without always having to type out every letter. It takes a lot of practice to learn to scan the predicted words visually and choose the word I want, instead of impulsively tapping any word I see. Autism is all about non-stop, wild impulses for me, so I’m always working eminent hard against them to choose the right word or the right action instead of whatever comes into my brain that second. It takes utterly so much energy.

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Me using proloquo4text

 

As much as I love learning Proloquo4text, something about it infuriates me; that I didn’t have it at the age of two or three years old, and that I wasn’t given any technology to communicate until many years into non-speaking autistic life. There is simply no reason that autistic kids can’t use communication apps at young ages. In my case the iPad wasn’t invented when I was that young, but for kids now there’s no reason not to start technology communication apps early. As soon as speech is delayed they should start using AAC I think. All speech therapists should know this instead of focusing too much on verbal speech. Communication happens in many ways and they are all valid, not just speech.

I always will be passionate about this because I didn’t have any way to really communicate until I was 12 and started to learn RPM at school. The ever present mounds of frustration over not talking have left their scars on me even now. Autism has enough hurdles to jump, why make them more and harder by limiting the ways we can communicate, all over clinging to verbal speech as the only accepted way?

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11 thoughts on “Hello again and communication

  1. It is good too hear from you again. I have missed your blogs. I think you are right. Having so much to say and not saying it must be very frustrating. I wish you the very best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s great to communicate our frustrations. It’s good that you have a method to do so. I am sorry that you face continued frustrations as you work through the technology. Hopefully by sharing, others may find a new, more intuitive method of AAC. Keep sharing even if you need long periods between the posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How wonderful – our daughter, who is 36 has used supportive communication for 20 years. We got her Prolog 2 Go but she finds this restrictive and would rather use support to communicate

    Different methods for everyone, but sooooo glad your are back on the blog

    Liked by 1 person

    • Proloquo4text is different than proloquo2go. I didn’t like proloquo2go either because it’s too many steps to get to the word and symbol you want which is so utterly hard with motor planning difficulties. I don’t like the visual clutter of the pictures. Proloquo4text is not like that at all it’s keyboard with intuitive predictive text and you can customize to keep key phrases you use a lot. Much better for me.

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  4. It is great to hear from you again! You share valid points on communication. As being one of your speech therapist many years ago, I agree that verbal communication is NOT the only to communicate. Technology has evolved since you were little Henry. I am amazed by your perseverance and determination! Can’t wait for your next blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Henry, I like to look at your blog from time to time when I need to to reset my mind in a more peaceful direction. Imagine my surprise and pleasure today when I found a new post! You have made a difference in my life and I hope you will continue to blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Henry, thank you for your perspective and for pushing through the difficulty you are experiencing to help teach us. I would love to introduce you to our students at Optimal Rhythms / ACCESS Academy. They express so many similar things that you have touched on in this blog post. We agree that communication and early access to communication is so very important, but we also believe that autism’s motor planning challenges can interfere with so many other aspects of life beyond communication. Our school/organization often challenges parents and educators and other professionals to understand that “it’s not just about the typing”! There are so many other ways our students deserve to be respected and supported – beyond communication. I wish our culture could recognize that we ALL have emotional needs, social needs, physical needs, but that far too many with movement differences are restricted or excluded from having support for these needs too. Our therapeutic day camp, CAN-DO Camp, this summer will be addressing lots of things that are far too often ignored and provide opportunities and body support for students to develop functional movement for interesting activities and interactions. We will address “the trauma of silence” and provide mental health services that are rarely offered to this group of students. We will explore ways for siblings to connect and appreciate each other. We will provide opportunities for autistic students to challenge their bodies to engage in weight training, running, and other sensory-rich exercise options that can help regulate both the mind and the motor system. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and figure out if there is a way for you to be involved – either in person, or from a distance.

    Liked by 1 person

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