"Brains, Trains and Video Games" by Alicia Hart in 2011, which told the story of her son Ewan who has both Autism and EE like Lu, I have wanted to find a way that an Agumented Communication Device could help Lu to communicate with us. I talked to her SLP (Speech Language Pathologist) and she brought us a Dynavox talk box which at that time was a large and heavy box with lots of icons on it that speak words when pressed. Lu was totally unimpressed. By that time she was already a wiz on her iPad and could get it to do far more than I knew how to do on it. She loved watching vintage Barbie commercials in German on YouTube and even figured out exactly what to do to download new apps. The talk box was big and clunky and looked totally outdated next to her shiny new slick touch screen ipad. I downloaded a couple of really expensive communication apps like One Voice, Proloquo2go, and My Talk, but none of them really interested her and she was so quick on the draw that she could click the home button and get out of those programs before we were able to show her much of what the programs could do. As with most things for Lu it was a matter of motivation and attention and after a few months of fruitless effort which included us taking actual photos of a lot of real things that Lu is interested in in real life, but couldn't care less about on her iPad, I gave it a rest.
That one little experience of Lu figuring out how to ask me to watch The Wizard of Oz made me marvel and the thought and effort she has to put into something that is so thoughtless and automatic for most of us. And I think that it really goes to show that a lack of speech is never indicative of a lack of thought. Lu has to put so much thought into how to help us understand what it is she is trying to tell us.
Here is a little video of Lu using her iPad Mini to let me know that she wants Goldfish Crackers and Pizza! Unfortunately I have yet to find a decent tasting wheat and dairy free Goldfish Cracker substitute. If any of you other EE moms out there have found some please write and let me know.