“Words to voice thoughts”. This was the first thing my Son spelled when asked about what he was thankful for.
He has been practicing the Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) for a while at home with a therapist, were he is taught how to spell on a letter board. Usually after discussing and spelling the answers to questions related to the day’s topic, his therapist asked him more personal questions like how he feels, what he likes, or what topic he wants to discuss the next time. During this week she asked him about what he was thankful for and he spelled the following: “words to voice thoughts”, “padres” (spanish word for parents), and “mi swing”.
For us this has been a real breakthrough. He has been communicating using PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), for some time (and still does), but now he is communicating with words, and communicating his needs. Last week he spelled “tooth hurt”, and when asked if he needed to visit the dentist he spelled “yes”. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical but mom made the calls and the next day we were at the dentist office. He was really communicating his needs!, an old filling had come out and was hurting him. This took my doubts away. He really is spelling!
We still have a long way to go but it is really amazing that he is finding a way to let us know more about him. He had spelled “I luv my pretty mom”, “to Sofia” his sister, “I luv you”, and also stuff he want to know more about like hippopotamus, cactus, monkeys, and even extraterrestrial life . He is also letting us know what he wants like a bird feeder. And it seems that he has a lot to say since one day he spelled: “I beg Dios” (spanish word for God), “I need to be herd”. Then when asked if this was correct, if this was what he was trying to say he spelled “si” (spanish word for yes). Then asked if he was done and he spelled “no”, “I got so so more than I imagined”.
We recently relocate to the US looking for better programs to help our Son and for a better education for our kids. It has been nine years of his silence. Trying to understand him based only on his actions and the PECS System. Now after only eight months of living here and thanks to his RPM trained at home therapist, he is spelling how he feels, subjects that he is interested with, and also if he is hurt. He is spelling that he wants to be heard and that he has a lot to say. Well you know what Diego, I can’t be more proud of you and I’m eager to read every single word you have to spell. Keep spelling and I will keep reading. Your Dad.
For more information about the RPM method for spelling, visit: http://www.halo-soma.org