Wilson “Wil” was born in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, in the village of Garapan. He was adopted in 2013 and his mother, Kim, moved with him to Kansas in 2018 to be closer to her family. (Welcome to KC Wil!) Wil’s therapist wrote to us and in her letter, she builds such a strong case for why every child NEEDS a way to communicate!
“Wil is lovable, funny, and social. He is a very caring friend to his classmates, greets his peers, and has concerns for his peers. He really likes being a “helper.” His diagnosis of Apraxia makes it difficult for him to form social relationships with his peers because his communication is a barrier. Wil is very athletic and active, which requires a lot of supervision in the home setting. Due to Wil’s communication difficulties, he must always have supervision because he would not be able to communicate any sort of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. By having an AAC device, this would increase Wil’s independence, self-advocacy, and social relationships for his future. He is responding to the use of an AAC device at school, but this is not a dedicated device that he owns and is able to take home with him — which is like taking his voice away from him when he leaves school. With his dedicated therapists and school team, in addition to his supportive mother, Wil could grow his communication skills exponentially before leaving the elementary school setting and build strong social relationships with peers prior to entering middle school and high school. This device would change his life!”
Variety KC’s generous partners understand the importance of communication. These partners, along with Wil’s insurance provider – BCBS – will make sure Wil gets his “voice,” but there are so many more kids in need. Help us to help all these kids, especially during this “stay at home” time. Donate today by clicking HERE – and thank you for joining our #InclusionRevolution!
Kye is a sweet little boy who is also a fighter! He was prenatally diagnosed with a heart condition (hypoplastic left heart syndrome). After birth, he had a stroke. In spite of all of his diagnoses, he is pleasant and a go-getter. He has received therapy since he was three months old and it’s suspected Kye has apraxia of speech, which limits his ability to motor plan in order to produce speech.
Because he can’t communicate his needs, Kye will whine and cry from the frustration.
In the area of speech and expressive language, Kye’s verbal communication skills are significantly limited, and he is primarily non-verbal at this time. He has some occasional “pop out” words, but he does not typically use verbal skills as a means to communicate his wants, needs or thoughts. Kye is beginning to communicate through non-verbal means such as taking the therapist to what he wants or by making choices with the use of pictures of objects. The therapists have introduced Proloquo2go (P2G) on an iPad from Marian Hope Center that is used during his therapy sessions. Kye demonstrates an understanding of how to use P2G. With some assistance and when motivated, he is beginning to be able to scan the page and find the corresponding picture. Kye uses P2G to work on labeling pictures and objects as well as to make requests. It should be noted that Kye’s receptive language skills appear to be higher than his expressive language, but are also limited, when compared to same age peers.
The gift of a communication device would greatly assist his communication efforts. Although he is young, he has had experience communicating with an ipad using Proloquo2go and has had good success. His family says it would be an absolute blessing for him to have his own iPad to communicate in all of his environments.
Variety KC hears this story from about so many kids. Right now, while quarantined at home, the frustration from communication struggles is especially hard for kids and families. Variety donors are helping Kye, but we have so many more on the list. If you can help, please donate at www.varietykc.org/donate
Arthur’s mom explains:
“Art has a speech delay along with sensory and behavioral concerns. His primary communication is by pointing or directing you to his wants/needs, however lately he is showing an interest in using an app to point to pictures on my phone and that directs us to what he wants. This has helped calm down his tantrums and physical outbursts. We are currently a one working family of six. I have stayed home to take care of four kids, and both of our youngest have speech delays and multiple therapy sessions each week.”
They are attempting to purchase a family home and just don’t have the budget for a personal device and apps right now but know that it would make a world of difference for Art!
This letter was written before the #stayhome order was in place. Can you imagine being isolated with a young child who can’t communicate their needs and wants? The personal devices they work on in therapy stay in therapy and when they get home, the frustration comes out. In this case, there is no scheduled therapy because of COVID-19, so the lack of a device means the lack of progress for Art. Please help Variety KC make sure that all kids have a voice! Donate today at varietykc.org/donate/
Recently we heard from Silas’ therapist. He’s a three-year-old with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders and is nonverbal, but he’s been working really hard at that. In fact, he has been involved in toddler and preschool classes, individual speech-language therapy, and ABA services since February 2018. He has participated in the Pathways program since August 2019, where he receives daily, intensive interventions for speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, music therapy and behavior. Here’s what his speech therapist told Variety KC:
“Over the course of the treatment sessions, I have introduced Silas to the iPad with the ProLoQue application, and he has shown the ability to attend to and imitate my models. Additionally, he has retained knowledge from previous modeling, to then use some of those words spontaneously on the device at a later time. I am recommending the Apple iPad with ProLoQue augmentative communication application for Silas. Having access at all times (home, school, community) to a robust communication system will allow Silas to communicate more of his wants/ needs, and be able to increase the variety of communication functions he uses, such as giving directives and making comments.” Karianne Radovich, M.S., CCC-SLP
Karianne brings up a really critical need, the need for access at all times, not just school. With our schools closed, so many kids are going without the therapy they need and devices they use. Variety KC is reaching out to donors and families to make sure every child has a voice and a way to be heard. Please donate today at www.varietykc.org/donate/ Thank you!