Angelina is the perfect combination of silly and sassy with a great sense of humor, but for the first four years of her life, she struggled to let her personality fully shine because of her limited communication skills. She was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and Autism and had been living in foster care since she was one year old. When Angelina was four years old, she was adopted by her family and started speech therapy services with Therapy 2000/Green Apple Therapy to help her reach her full potential!
Because Angelina couldn’t express her wants/needs, she would become frustrated and often threw things, which limited her ability to use a picture exchange program. Additionally, due to her diagnoses, she had difficulty with fine motor skills and imitating gestures, limiting her success with sign language as a form of communication. Before coming to Therapy 2000, Angelina and her family had attempted to use an AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) device to promote communication skills, but this ended in disappointment due to the family not receiving the training and support they needed to be successful. With the encouragement and education from their new SLP, Angelina and her family decided to give AAC another chance, and they haven’t looked back. It wasn’t long before “Moana! Encanto! Minnie Mouse!” echoed throughout their home as Angelina learned to request her favorite movies and tv shows on her AAC device, and it was music to her family’s ears!
Everyone came together to help Angelina be successful, and it was truly a team effort – her insurance case worker helped advocate for her to receive a device, her occupational therapist helped her develop the fine motor coordination needed to manipulate the device, her school added pictures of teachers and supplies to improve participation, her private duty nurse bridged the gap for care coordination between home and community, and her family dedicated themselves to helping Angelina find her voice with the guidance and expertise of her SLP. Angelina has learned to indicate ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ ‘more,’ and ‘all done’ as well as state her name. She continues to gain independence by navigating her AAC device, including manipulating buttons to scroll up/down to access varying pages with additional buttons to capture more words and increase her ability to express herself.
And you better believe, she has a lot to say AND sing! Angelina loves the ‘Wheels on the Bus” song, so her SLP added buttons for ‘horn,’ ‘wipers,’ and ‘wheels’ to make sure she can sing along with her
family and friends!