“Today turned into a pretty stressful day.
What do you do when your child’s communication device breaks, and suddenly their only means of communication disappears?
Riley’s speech has come on so so much in the last 12 months, but he still depends on his device a whole lot.
Not so much at home or with family because we have learned to understand his speech better, but with other people, his device is right there as a backup in case they cannot understand him.
He uses it independently. He types what he wants to say, and by pressing speak, it gives him a helping hand when sometimes his words are hard to understand.
The panic that set in today when his device broke was so upsetting to see.
For an 8-year-old to get so anxious that his device had broken shows just how much he depends on it.
He called his device his ‘buddy,’ because it was always there to help him, and he was so sad it broke.
I had to get him early from school because he was so upset, and you could see the anxiety rising in him.
I can’t even imagine how it feels to have that sense of security whipped away from you in an instant.
To have your voice, and your backup, whipped away.
The panic that set in with him was awful to see.
As much as Riley wants to speak more and more, today showed just how much he depends on that backup. How having it reduces his anxiety.
And how he feels he can be heard no matter what when he has his communication device.
After a stressful few hours, the amazing help of Emily in Evolve Therapy (who saved the day), a quick dash to Currys Ireland for a new iPad (where two amazing staff members went above and beyond when so many were out of stock to make sure we got one that would work with his software), and a late call from Mark in Liberator Ltd, Riley is up and running with a brand new communication device, which he has called his ‘mate’!
He is exhausted, overwhelmed, and still a bit upset, but he knows that when he goes to school tomorrow he can be understood.
We all take speech for granted every day.
We take our voices for granted.
We take for granted the fact that people can understand us when we speak.
But every person deserves a voice, a means of communication, and the security that they can be understood.
Everyone deserves to be heard.
An amazing group of people came together today to make sure this guy has his voice, his confidence, and his security back, and I am so grateful!”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole Duggan of Cork, Ireland. Follow her on Facebook here and Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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