I have been meaning to write about my experience this last month, but did not have the chance too. Last month, my husband and I attended a training called LAMP. I am not sure if you have heard about it, it is a program that has been incorporated with an iPad or another device. And what this does is open a line of communication for our children. I was told about this program about 3 years ago thru the school that Adrian was attending during the time. At that time the device did not work for Adrian like we thought it would and we discontinued the use of it. We fast forward to now, it was recommended by his Occupational therapist who said that he could possibly benefit from it and to go to the University of Miami for more information and well that’s what we did.
Adrian is seven years old non-verbal and well as you can imagine, because of the language barrier, we encounter a lot of his behavior problems and meltdowns. In our house we have learned how to interpret his needs and wants but it was getting a little frustrating when we would go out and not know what he was thinking or feeling. That’s when we decided to find more information regarding this program and device. We were asked to participate in the recording of him using the device during the training. We were able to see him interact with the therapist and how he noticed that he had some kind of voice thru this device. This training was geared towards speech pathologist, OT therapist, PT therapist, parents and students. At one point in the training as they were showing the videos that were taken there was a question that was directed to all the therapist on Adrian’s video and how he was doing with the device. Most of the therapist of the room agreed that Adrian would learn it very fast and that we would see results.
We have a long road ahead but what was so encouraging to us was the fact that we were being shown videos of children and young adults that were considered non-functional and non- verbal and that did not have cognitive motor skills to communicate and how the device helps them to communicate with people. We saw a significant amount of change in their behavior. It was like almost a 360 degree turn of the child that was before to where they are now. For the most part people see the children and young adults as a waste of space and or think that parents do not have control of their child but that is not the case. The majority of these individuals are very smart, they just think differently than us. This does not make them weird but makes them unique.
“Just because they cannot talk does not mean that they don’t hear.” Wow! This was mentioned in the meeting and will always be present with me. That blew my mind and I thought how many times have I said something negative about him around him not because I am a horrible mother but I forget he can listen to me. I have been extra careful since I heard that, because my words are very powerful to my children and I want my words to empower them versus destroying them. All of the children we saw on those videos have something in common, they all want a sense of belonging and want to succeed and have dreams that they want to accomplish. But they need people to believe in them and to take the time to work with them, play with them and most importantly to love them. These individuals have the same goals and thoughts that we have all wanted so why do we make it so hard for them? Let’s work together let’s push these individual to be the best that they can be and let them know they can do it if they believe in themselves and know they have the support that they need.
My name is Gail, I have been married for almost 10 years with my best friend. God blessed me with a supportive, loving man after God's own heart and a fantastic father. We have three beautiful children, Adrian who is 5 years old and a set of twins who just turned 1 years old. God has blessed us in so many ways that it is beyond words. To even describe how thankful we are for his love and grace is beyond words. One of our favorite verses that we have is Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of GOD and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you".