My 25 years old son is non-verbal. He uses his phone as his speech output device. He has worked hard to learn the software on his phone. This software speaks the words that he types into his device. He has used a variety of other speech output devices in the past. There are many more options for speech output devices available now. And, there are places like MassMatch (1 ) which can help each user to find the best choice.
When he was younger, family members and teachers would always be with him and speak for him. These days he still always with someone when he is out in the community. But, now, he is interested in speaking for himself. He also has the vocabulary and skills to speak for himself.
So, how does it go? Well, it depends… Let me describe a common situation that shows how much effort it takes for my son to communicate in public places. Ordering fast food or in a restaurant is something that we all do. For my son, it is a chore. He must get the waiter’s attention. Then, he will order his food. Most of the time, he needs to repeat his order. e needs to repeat it more than one time. If the waiter stops and listens, it is easier. but, most of the time, he needs to repeat his order.
Speaking in public is hard for many people. It is more difficult for someone who uses a speech output device. He shows us that many strangers do not choose to listen. Our public places, malls, restaurants, outdoor spaces are noisy. here is music, talking, traffic, and other sounds. My son cranks up the volume on his phone. On a good day, a stranger will listen to his computer voice. The pride my son takes in talking with someone is worth the effort. This photo shows my son speaking to us. You may be in a place where someone is trying to speak with a device. Please take the time to listen and respond. It only takes a little bit more time and the rewards are great.