My youngest is completely non verbal and we are going to all kinds of therapists, a neurologist and more specialists to help him. He has sensory issues and his doctors think that he is on the autism spectrum.
My son is non verbal yes, but he still yells and screeches. He still has wants and needs. He still needs to be able to communicate. He is only sixteen months but he used to talk. From about nine months until he turned one he could speak full sentences. There was no life changes going on nothing huge happening around him to trigger an emotional response. He gets so frustrated when he can’t communicate. He tries so hard but when his father or myself don’t quite understand what he wants he gets aggressive.
My son hurts himself by head butting, slamming his face into the wall or floor, smacking himself and throws himself flat on his back on the ground. He headbutts, hits, kicks, pinches and bites anyone who he is frustrated with. He was not an aggressive baby. It all just started so abruptly when he lost his speech.
I know toddlers are aggressive, I have three other children who were all toddlers at one point. They were aggressive at times. My oldest had a biting period, my second had a phase where she just was angry at me all of the time because her sister was in school and we were home all day. She would hit me and pinch and scratch but it wasnt all day every day and it was only to me. My oldest son gets in fights with his sisters but he knows when someone is hurt, when he needs to stop, and that no means no.
My youngest is not really behind developmentally. He crawled at three and a half months, walked at six and a half months, started saying random words from four months on, spoke sentences from nine to twelve months and he follows simple direction most of the time. He can show me colors, shapes, and animals if I ask him to. He is just really aggressive, has stopped speaking, and he does have sensory issues such as; he doesn’t like being buckled into a car seat or stroller, wearing coats, he only will drink what he wants in his cup which is mostly water, he is a really picky eater and it gets hard.
So there is some back story.
Last week I started looking for solutions on having better communication, I looked into picture boards that are in books but I think that those would be too hard for him to flip back and forth and he may not know what each of the pictures mean.
I ended up downloading an app on my phone that had pictures and voice to the pictures to speak full questions and tell me what he needs or wants.
It worked AMAZINGLY! After he was able to communicate he lost a bunch of aggression. He will still hurt himself and others if he does not get his way but he can communicate.
My son was using my phone. My only phone. The phone that I would need to call 911 or to call for other help if needed through the day and I figured that if it were to get broken then we would not be able to replace it with a new one.
I started looking online for a small tablet or old smart phone, just something that I could install this app on so I would still have my phone. I could only afford twenty dollars altogether with shipping and handling and that was if we let some more things go but the app really changed everything and seemed to help my son.
I searched on eBay and I found an older kindle for fifteen dollars with free shipping and I ordered it. After the sender had sent it out she emailed me and asked about what we were going to use it for because kindle apps are limited. I explained that my son is nonverbal and that I found an amazing app that enabled him to communicate and that I just needed a device that I could download the app on.
She informed me that she also had an autistic son and we talked about how small of a world it really is. We chatted and I thanked her over and over for the price because I would not have been able to get anything else for him.
The tablet came and I got it as set up as best as I could, the app that the Kindle store offered for that model was a little bit harder to navigate and the tablet itself was kind of slow but we were making progress. My son could point at the pictures and stuff and it worked.
The next day we came home to put the cold stuff in the refrigerator really quick and then hurry to get in line to get our older kids from school. When we pulled in my husband and myself both looked at each other in confusion, there was a package sent from Amazon Kindle that was sitting by our back door. We were both afraid to open it because we do not order from amazon due to the prices. Well it was addressed to us and we decided to open it. The woman whom I had ordered the kindle from sent us a super nice yellow (which is my sons favorite color, he picks yellow for everything, even his helmet) children’s tablet that had a larger app selection and came with toddler games and all kinds of fun stuff.
She had left a note saying that she felt that my son could use this. I bawled my eyes out for over an hour then I sent her a lengthy email back from eBay because that’s where we were messaging from before. I thanked her and told her how we would have never been able to afford something like that for our son. I still feel all emotional knowing that there are some great people out there.
It is true, we would not have been able to afford anything like it. My son is so happy to have his tablet. The screen is large and the volume is loud enough to hear his picture words being read clearly. He is communicating and we all so happy.
Random acts of kindness happen all around us. I feel so happy that we got to experience this one. I am putting all of it in my sons baby book so maybe one day he will look back at it and see that this is where his communication picked back up.
I had a random act of kindness happen a little while ago too, I inspired someone to write their healing journey and they started following my blog. This woman helped us out so much, I think she wanted to remain anonymous. She donated fifty dollars into my go fund me and it made it to where we could make a payment on our electric bill this month. Thank you so much for that. If we weren’t able to make a payment this month we would have lost power until payday then we would have been behind on rent and gotten deeper into this hole of debt that seems never ending. I truly do appreciate all of your help. 🙂