Communication Device Broken At School

communication deviceI mentioned it on Twitter when it happened.  My son’s communication device was broken at school.  It’s a Say-It! SAM device.  My son is completely nonverbal, and this was his main way of communicating.  The device, which is expensive, was paid for by his insurance.  The repair for it isn’t covered.  That will be coming out of our pockets.

My husband sent it off last week.  If the only thing that is wrong with it is the screen, the cost of parts will be $267.  I don’t know what the cost for labor will be.  I’ll find out when I get the bill.  I also don’t know how long it will take.  I’m hoping that it will only be a couple of weeks.  A very long couple of weeks.  Try not talking, at all, for two weeks, and then you will understand what my son is going through.

I don’t know how it was broken at school.  No one there knows.  Bottom line, as long as no one there knows anything, the school isn’t liable.  When I first held the broken device in my hands, I felt like my heart had been stabbed.  I went off on my own and had a breakdown.  I didn’t want to do it in front of the kids.  Communication is so difficult for my son, losing his “voice” was painful for me.  It had taken so long to get him that device.

If you are a parent of a non-verbal autistic child, I’m sure you understand how the broken device has been such a hardship for my son.  If you aren’t, just imagine that your child isn’t able to speak, and you will have an idea.

The new statistics for the rate of autism is 1 in 88.  My child isn’t the only child with autism that is nonverbal.  It seems like, as the rate rises, it becomes harder to get help for my son.  Have people become desensitized to autism?  Have they decided that it is something to be accepted, and can’t be changed?  By people, I mean doctors and government officials.  April is Autism Awareness month.  From what I can see, we have plenty of awareness.  People know about autism.  Chances are, you have a child with autism, a family member with autism, or a friend with an autistic child.  Awareness isn’t the problem.  We need action.  We need actual help.  We need to know what causes autism and how to minimize it or cure it.  With the way the rate of autism keeps rising, how long before it becomes a 1:1 rate?

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