Some time ago, we covered some stories about children with severe autism being able to communicate through augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Earlier this week, Hunter Harrison was introduced in the newspaper for University of Kentucky.
Hunter, a cheerful 5 year-old boy, was born with a neuromuscular disability. While a completely different condition from autism, in a similar manner, neuromuscular disability hindered development of hunter’s motor skill. Not only Hunter’s poor motor skill forces him to use a wheelchair and a walker to navigate, but it stunted his oral speech development as well. Hunter has successfully graduated kindergarten last year, and he will be beginning his first grade at Rosenwald-Dunbar Elementary School this coming fall. In order for Hunter to enroll in a regular classroom, he needs some assistive device for better communication, and this is where iPad was able to show him the way.
It is amazing that Hunter will be able to stay in a regular classroom, but what is even more impressive is that after the combination of intensive therapy and augmentative communication, his actual speech has greatly improved. Not only the device equipped him with an immediate tool to communicate with, it is showing tremendous potential as a tool to improve his permanent linguistic skill.
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