Tuesday, February 23, 2016

An I-phone & A Minimally Verbal Child

How good is the camera?
How much memory does it have?
Is there a warranty?

These are all questions I didn't ask a few months ago when I got a new phone.
I knew what I wanted. No, what I needed. I needed an I-phone.

The only thing I was interested in was the FaceTime feature on an Apple phone.

Sure, I had tried Skype with some success with my old phone. But, many of my family members had I-phones or I-pads now which meant that FaceTime would be a good option for us.

Here's the thing: Jaycee is a very social person. She will sometimes bring me the phone and sign to call grandma or her cousin. I sometimes felt bad as I told the person answering the phone that Jaycee wanted to talk to them. I knew they would have to carry the conversation since Jaycee's verbal speech is extremely limited. She will babble at times and often sign or gesture responses to the person on the other end of phone who of course couldn't see what she was communicating. I would interject things like: Jaycee's smiling. She just signed play. She shook her head no. This method didn't work well for anyone!

A shot of Jaycee on FaceTime with her cousins
Enter the I-phone (and later an I-Pad) and the FaceTime feature. With a simple push of a button, we could connect with someone she wanted to talk to on the phone.

This is exactly what Jaycee, a child who is minimally verbal, needed. The conversations are no longer 1 sided. Jaycee can sign or gesture or make a facial expression that the other person can see. This has been a great way for her to communicate with those she loves. I don't have to be her interpreter any longer, since most of the time the people talking to her know what her mannerisms mean.

Since having these devices a few months, Jaycee has learned how to open FaceTime and can click on the name she wants to call. Sometimes, she does this without me knowing! But, she is gaining some independence this way as she doesn't have to rely on me to initiate a call.

Although I am sure the good people at Apple made this form of video chatting for a variety of reasons, I wonder if children who were like my daughter were initially one of them. Either way, I'm grateful for this feature!

Jaycee showing her cousin her new dolls on FaceTime

No comments:

Post a Comment

submit to reddit