Success Story: Heavenz

Heavenz is a fun and spunky 3-year-old with a smile that will melt your heart.

She started therapy just before her second birthday and has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. At that time, her grandparents were concerned due to lack of communication and desire to engage with others, and other developmental delays. Heavenz demonstrated significant, frustration due to her inability to express herself, which led to difficulty in daily activities for herself and her caregivers.

Speech therapy began by addressing precursory communication/conversational exchange skills such as joint attention and sound imitation. While progress was made, it seemed slow. Heavenz still demonstrated limited interest in attempting to communicate. As her therapist and grandmother collaborated to establish a better plan, they both came to the same idea – Augmented and Alternative Communication (AAC).

Initially, they began experimenting with some free choice board applications on an iPad to see if Heavenz was motivated to communicate in this manner, and her interest in technology surfaced! A trial device was ordered to test a true communication system, and Heavenz’s motivation, eagerness, and excitement for communication blossomed!

Heavenz has quickly taken to this method of communication, and now has her very own AAC device that she uses to express her needs. She can ask for her preferred play activities and snacks, and she takes her device with her to school to communicate with teachers and peers.

Therapy continues to unlock greater potential for Heavenz. In addition to using her device, she has progressed begun to use some single word verbal communication! By having a communication system that is both functional and motivating, Heavenz has demonstrated an increase in ability and willingness to communicate. The effective outcome is decreased overall frustration at home and at school.

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