Digital Communication Device helps Seven-Year-Old With Autism Communicate
At two years old, Jeremiah Morris, a seven-year-old from Illinois, was diagnosed with autism. Half a year before that, he stopped communicating verbally, and according to his parents was almost completely non-verbal by the time he first started school.
Thankfully, Jeremiah has made substantial progress since that time, and now communicates frequently and enthusiastically with the help of his augmentative alternative device, or AAD. This past year, Jeremiah made so much communication progress that he received an award from the state, as well as recognition from the National Council for Exceptional Children for his use of technology. According to a report by ABC11.com, Jeremiah is currently enrolled in Robert Hill Elementary School, a school with over 700 students, a quarter of whom have special needs. While all of the students receive special attention, and some receive one-on-one therapy sessions, Jeremiah’s progress this year was outstanding enough to garner him the above-mentioned recognition. Kristen Anderson, Jeremiah’s school speech pathologist, said his communication improved significantly after he began using a digital communication device called a NovaChat. “When [Jeremiah] came to us, he really wasn't communicating functionally," Anderson was quoted as saying in a report by Patch.com "He had pictures he could use, but he was just frustrated by it... but once we started using the higher-tech devices with him, we saw a total 180. He was more social, he wanted to engage with people, he wanted to talk with other people... It's just been really cool to see the transformation."
In addition to his communication device, Jeremiah is also supported by his comfort dog, Allie, in school. On February 5th, he traveled to Portland to receive his award, accompanied by his parents and younger brother. Jermaine Morris, Jeremiah’s father, said he was amazed that his son has “made so much progress in such a short time. He’s doing really well, forming sentences now, and we’re thrilled.” Source: https://abc11.com/5905566/