Vanshita Srivastava is a bright young adult who has Autism Spectrum Disorder. She attends skills training at a special needs centre and loves interacting with her friends and family members.
Vanshita has speech difficulties which sometimes come in the way of her expressing what she thinks or how she feels. But since she learned to use Avaz AAC, she has begun to freely convey her ideas and thoughts with those around her. Read more about how Vanshita’s communication skills progressed through her teletherapy sessions here.
Here’s what Vanshita says about Avaz AAC app:
“i know challenge of communication has destroyed my life.Life changed in many ways.these frustrations bring sadness. Using Avaz has helped tremendously.I can express my feelings and thoughts. Having Avaz is blessing.”
Conversations Using The Avaz Keyboard
Vanshita types on the Avaz keyboard to communicate her thoughts and feelings to those around her.
“i like writing thoughts for expression since i speak limited.”
Initially, she needed help in understanding the ‘back and forth’ aspect of communication or ‘two-way’ communication. In her teletherapy sessions, she got to practise how to initiate and lead conversations. The therapist also helped her to maintain a conversation, thus allowing her to have longer and more nuanced conversations.
Speaking Her Mind
Once Vanshita became comfortable with her conversation skills, she gained the confidence to express her opinions of matters, both big and small.
‘Holiday’ is one of her favourite topics.
Here’s how Vanshita planned a holiday with her family using Avaz AAC app. Initially, she was responding to her parents’ questions by typing the answers in the app
She was then encouraged to ask questions to elicit use of different communicative functions during a conversation.
Vanshita – Is resort expensive?
Father – Yes, it’s expensive.
She was encouraged to comment and to maintain the conversation.
Vanshita – Then we can stay in resort for two days
The family was glad to hear her logical thoughts that go into planning a holiday such as expenses and accomodation.
Conversations Beyond the Therapy Room
After observing how keen Vanshita was to talk about her favorite topics, the therapist encouraged her to continue the conversations at home. She is a movie buff and loves Bollywood movies. So, she likes talking about movies and the songs that she enjoys listening to. Moreover, she gets to participate in everyday decision making such as what food to order online for dinner.
She also typed messages in the Avaz AAC app which sent through email to her therapist.
The Role of Family Support
Vanshita is a great example of how collaborative effort of the family and professionals can impact a communicator’s progress. Her family was keen on providing a positive communication environment for her. The first and one of the pivotal steps to see that up is presuming competence.
Vanshita’s parents believed that she had lots more to say than what she managed to convey through verbal speech. They understood how Avaz AAC app was allowing their daughter to open up and connect more with others. Her family members including her cousin and friends often participated in the teletherapy sessions and supported her AAC conversations. This support played a key role in Vanshita learning to become a confident communicator.
Read more Avaz AAC user stories here.