Lauren has a severe speech impairment because of her Cerebral Palsy. It is pretty hard to speak correctly if you can not get your mouth or tongue to move the way your brain is telling you it should. The people who are around her all the time have learned to understand her but for people who come in contact with her briefly it is impossible to figure out what she is saying. Since she is getting older and doing more things in the community it is becoming more important for her to be able to communicate with others.
This summer we have been working with a speech therapist at Gillette Children`s to determine what type of communication device would be best for Lauren. It is a great thing to try several different devices out before trying to get insurance to pay for one because then you can document to pros and cons of all of them.
The device she is using this month is pretty complex. It can do lots of things such as getting Internet, storing data, and connecting to a computer so that she can type on the device and send e-mails. On this device you can enter the names of people you have contact with often. With each name you can add an icon to relate to the person. One of the icons that you could choose is a prostitute. The picture is two people in bed with money on a table. That is pretty accurate in describing a prostitute. We have not yet figured out who Lauren would label as the prostitute since she does not even understand what a prostitute is. Oh, by the way there is also an icon for the gynecologist, I will not even try to describe that one. Use your imagination just a little bit here.