Finding Her “Voice” (Part One)

For those who don’t know, my nearly 10-year-old daughter, Chloe, is mostly nonverbal.  She uses some sign language, and gestures to communicate her wants and needs.  She uses some words that a few people can understand.  But for the most part, she would be considered a smart little girl with lots to say who is stuck inside her own body that won’t cooperate with her.

Chloe has had her iPod and Proloquo2Go for 2 years.  We have not been very successful with making it completely useful for Chloe.  She has gone through spurts where she uses it with some purpose, but then she doesn’t use it at all.  I could really beat myself up over it if I let myself.  It is just another area that I haven’t been as successful as I would’ve liked.  But lately Chloe is using it again — with purpose.  I wanted to tell you about a couple of examples.

A while back something happened and the individual people that we had entered into the P2G went missing — I’m guessing they were accidentally erased.  (Not the people themselves, of course!!  But their names and photos that we had entered onto the communication device were somehow erased.)  So specific people’s names weren’t in there anymore.  What was left was just the generic “mother”, “grandfather”, etc.

A few weeks ago, I sat with Chloe while we had a conversation about friends at school.  I added a few friends’ names onto the Proloquo2Go as well as some teacher names.  I also added Zippy and Elliot back in there.  But that’s all we had time for.  And then I totally forgot about going back in and adding all the other names back in.

Well, when we got to Paul’s parents’ house Wednesday night, no one was there yet so we went on in and got settled.  Chloe found her favorite play place in the bedroom by the windows and spread out all of the toys that she brought on the trip.

A while later, Paul’s mom came back to say Hi to Chloe and to me.  As is oftentimes the case, Chloe hardly even looked up from what she was doing.  At my prompting, she gave a minimal greeting to her Meme, and then she went back to what she was doing.  At least we thought she had gone back to what she was doing.

A minute later Chloe got my attention and showed me her iPod.  She had pulled up P2G and typed in the sentence, “I love you Grandmother.

She was trying to connect.  She wanted to say Hi.  She wanted to let Meme know she loved her.

Listen.  Listen to her.  Notice her!

Chloe’s message:  “Even if you can’t tell that I care, and even if you can’t tell that I love you, I do.  And here’s the proof — I said it.”

What a great use of a communication device!  Telling your loved ones how you feel about them!


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by angel on November 28, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    That’s awesome. So glad you have this blog to record precious moments like that one.


  2. Posted by Fran on November 28, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    Love this!!


  3. That’s incredible! What a very sweet moment!


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