Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dr. Seuss's AACs

(A Poem about Augmentative & Alternative Communication)
re-printed with permission from I am Micro-Managing
(Another of my favorite parents of special kids blogs)

Did you know there are some
for whom speaking is tough?
Who use signing, and pictures,
and pointing, and stuff?

But those methods can lack;
They can frustrate all!
(And leave us each feeling
quite helpless and small.)

But there are cool new ways
for a voice to be heard,
and to be understood,
without saying a word!

These high-tech-y tools
are expensive and rare...
but each time I check,
a brand new one is there!

They're newer than new,
and they sparkle and shine,
with computering parts
that are finer than fine!

Oh, the wonderful things these devices can do!
They can scroll straight to "cow"! They can help you say "Moo!"
They can show you a "bowl" or a "sister" or "bus;"
they can help you say "Help!" with such minimal fuss!

Take oodles of photos!
Build word lists galore!
Use the voice of your choice,
speak in school -- or the store!

Give your puppy a name!
Select lunch on your own;
ask for milk, juice, or pop!
Even talk on the phone!

Give your teachers a way
to test how much you know!
Tell your dad that
your shoe is too tight on your toe!

Request movies by name!
Then, just for a lark,
tell your mom that you want
to eat cheese in the park!

Yes, the world is your oyster,
and you are it's pearl;
Communication's the KEY
for each boy and each girl!

It's exciting and fresh --
talking fun that is fun!
But there IS a small catch:
You can only have ONE!

The selection is vast;
the technology new.
Take a carefullish look;
Find the one right for YOU!

Do you need overlays?
Would a camera be nice?
Do you like Unity?
Or would Minspeak suffice?

Are we shooting towards goals
of literacy?
Is it helpful to have
just a small qwerty key?

And how many screens --
sixty-four or just three?

What? What's that? What's that that you say?
You say 64 is the magical way?
Sixty-four will display all the things you might say?

(Are you sure that's not
far too much stuff in the way??)

Or maybe it is?
You really don't know?

How do we decide
which direction to go?

There are all shapes and sizes,
and colors galore!
But we can't try them all,
and they keep making more!

Should one organize words
by theme or by list?
Have a visual base,
or conceptual twist?

And how does it feel?
Does it fit in your hand?
Do you have to sit down?
Will it work when you stand?

Can you use it in rain?
See the screen in the sun?
Can you lock the controls?
Charge it up on the run?

Is it easy to clean?
Will it fit in your bag?
Is there user support
without having to nag?

Is it heavy to hold?
Are there cords in the way?
Can it actually say
all you hope, dream, and pray?

Does it need USBs?
Or expansioning packs?
Is it easy to learn,
yet has challenging tracks?

Is the camera built-in?
Are there symbols or pix?
Can it play any games?
Does it do any tricks?

Will it speak Japanese?
Can it surf on the web?
If I buy the upgrade,
will it dootle or fleb?

Can it dance the fandango
or do the Watusi?
Does it have shoulder straps,
or clip to one's caboose-y?

Is it bluetooth compat?
Does it lay golden eggs?
Can it walk by itself
on its wee robot legs?

Is it unbreakable?
Does it use rocket fuel?
Can it fly on its own
to and from my son's school?

Does it come with its very own echo-locator?
(And if lost, will it come right back --
sooner than later?)
All this pick-y and choose-y
and question-y stuff
makes my head feel all woozy!

So which choice is best?
Which one passes each test?
Which rises above all the lowlier rest?
From near and from far,
North, South, East, or West,
which one is the

How I dread, dread, dread, DREAD
sorting through in my head...
Can't anyone out there

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