There have been two very cool occurrences recently that display, in a nutshell, the far-reaching power of a robust communication system that anyone can understand.
I’m at a shopping centre with Harry and Tallulah in their side-by-side pram. It’s all blue eyes, crazy curls and pointing at everything interesting in sight from the two of them. Harry has his talker on his lap and we’re sporadically chatting, when a rather glamorous woman approaches us (I’ll refer to her as GW). Now with these two cuties in the pram I am used to getting smiles and waves from people and often find myself answering for Harry if they say hello or ask how old he is. Not anymore…
GW: What an interesting device, is it for learning?
M: No, it’s his voice.
GW (moves to stand in front of H so they’re eye to eye): Hello young man.
H📱: Good morning
It was the simplest of exchanges, but it was the first time Harry has used his own voice to greet someone we don’t know from a bar of soap. And with that, the possibilities of the wonderful gift of independent communication become apparent. GW walked away with a smile and, I hope, an exchange that she will always remember with the well-mannered curly haired boy.
We’re at Gogo’s house as she has some family visiting from overseas with their 2 children aged 12 and 14. They’ve never met Harry and so have no concept of how his talker works. He decides he wants to sit next to them on the couch and, whilst I’m chatting to their parents, I see they’re engaged with Harry whilst he chats on his talker.
A few minutes later, one of the girls tuns to me and says Harry is thirsty and would like a drink. I hand him his drink bottle and continue telling his parents how much Harry loves basketball and that we now have a small net at home for him to play with. “Oh we know” says one of the girls, “Harry already told us”.
And that is what it’s all about really, Harry is able to chat with anyone about anything, including how much he loves to play basketball.