april_3up_2014April builds her own vocabulary on a NOVA chat so she can communicate and participate at school. April is a resilient and resourceful grade 3 student who is focused on expanding her vocabulary, just like her peers, but in her own way. Although she has so much to say, severe apraxia causes her speech to be unintelligible. She also has difficulty with word retrieval making her oral communication very challenging.

Finding the words has now become easier, with the help of a NOVA chat; an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device loaned to her school team last year. Very quickly, she became familiar with the pre-programmed vocabulary and wanted more. While she lacks the ability to type, or even sound out a word, that doesn’t stop her from programming her device with very limited support.

She can independently and without prompting, edit a page, request that a desired word be typed in for her, search for a picture symbol, add it to her device, and save the changes.

April has shown respect for her AAC device, understanding its power and purpose, from the very beginning. It provides her the opportunity to realize her potential, be understood, and connect with others. She has come a long way from days full of frustration, to engaging and participating as a more confident and engaged member of her school community.

To learn more about the technology used in this SETstory, search for it by name in learningSET.