Friday, April 25, 2008

My Voice is My Power (part four)

Today I visited again with my former student (the one I wrote about in the second My Voice is My Power follow up). This time he had his AAC device. What a difference it made!

When I first arrived he used his device to tell me that he was mad at me because he doesn't like change. I realized that this was because I was supposed to spend the entire week with him, but instead was only with him today (see previous entry about my going to NY). So we talked about it and he was fine after a few minutes. Without his communication device it would have taken us hours to work this out.

We visited and he told me all about his week and his new school using his ChatPC. Then he went to a page of all of his teachers and friends from when he was in my class and he asked about each of them one by one. After all the updates he decided he wanted to go visit a classmate who was in my class with him and then happened to move to the same residential school he is at now.

The entire drive there he talked to me with his device. He told me about the music he has been listening to (Bruce Springsteen), his favorite class (horticulture) and his favorite friends and staff members at school. It was great. Then we called his old (as in former) speech therapist and he used his ChatPC to talk to her on speaker phone. On the way to visit his classmate he decided he wanted to go to McDonald's where, without help, he ordered his fish sandwich and a Coke.

We then visited his friend, who he nagged about her not using her ChatPC (it wasn't charged) and then he gave her a foot rub. (I kid you not.)

Next we went to Bob's Discount Furniture to sit in the massage chairs and try out the massage Bob-o-pedic Craftmatic style bed. He used his device while we there to chat with my father (who is a salesman there). He told my dad that I am mean, messy and that the side view mirror is broken on my car. My dad told him that they were both saying all the same things about me (thanks soooo much, dad). Then my student decided to look for Bob, but since Bob doesn't work in that store he settled for a Bob's Discount Furniture tee shirt, even using his device to say what size he wanted.

Then my dad asked us to do him a favor, could we go to his house, find his cell phone and bring it to him? We said yes and were off on an adventure to look for the cell phone. We found it and brought it back to the store. The entire time we were conversing with the help of the ChatPC.

It was such a different day today versus the day we spent together in April when he did not have his ChatPC. His voice is his power.

See the My Voice is My Power video.

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