Wednesday, January 7, 2015

When a Talker Stops Talking


Jaycee was trying to take her coat off at church while holding her Bible and her communication device ("the talker") when her device crashed to the hard floor.

I didn't think anything about it. The talker has had many, many falls. On concrete, carpet, the ground, down a few steps, the talker has had many accidents, yet it has always been fine.

This is her talker's home screen when it's functioning properly. It works similar to an IPAD. You push an icon which opens up a related screen. The talker speaks whatever she pushes.

We have had Jaycee's Vantage Lite from PRC for a few years. It has only been "broken" one time when the battery stopped holding a charge. So, it had to be sent off to be repaired that one time. Overall, we have found the Vantage Lite to be very durable. It is considered to be medical equipment, so the talker is $,$$$!! Yes, you would certainly be surprised at how much these things costs.

At home, Jaycee uses total communication. She says a few words, she signs hundreds of words, and she uses the talker to supplement what she can't say using the other methods. 

Anyway, I looked at Jaycee's talker after church and noticed it was on the loading screen instead of the home screen. I knew there was a problem. I did some troubleshooting on the device with no change. The talker would not talk and it was time for lunch.

 My first thought was, "Shoot! We are having a lot of things today she can't sign."

The first problem we encountered, Jaycee couldn't pray. She pushes her prayer button before receiving her food. No talker=no prayer. During the meal, I usually push a button on her talker in an attempt to get her to converse with us about something. That opportunity was missed today. We had to stick with yes and no questions.

Then it came time for seconds on food, she was pointing and gesturing intently but I was lost. Really, I think she was saying she wanted more of everything, but that wasn't going to happen. She was pointing to her plate and making motions. I picked a great day to have tacos and salsa, both of which we use the talker to say. We finally got it figured out, but it wasn't an easy process.

After lunch, we took off the battery cover to reveal that something had come loose from the fall. Fortunately, the talker was fixed and Jaycee was back to communicating!

You don't really know how much you depend on something until it stops working. Just another thing we deal with on our special purposed journey.

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