Thursday, June 25, 2009

Clinic Notes: The Window to the Mind of Children with Autism

According to poets the eyes are the windows to the soul. I don't know if that is the case, but I do know that for many nonverbal children with autism speech augmentative devices are the windows to the mind. I am still amazed at the cognitive ability that is locked away in many nonverbal children with autism. This cognitive ability becomes unbridled when they learn to push the buttons on a speech augmentative device and generate electronic words. The autism literature says that anywhere from 75 to 90% of children with autism are mentally retarded, but I don't believe it. I am convinced that many children with autism who tested as mentally retarded would loose their mentally retarded diagnosis if they were proficient with a speech augmentative device. But with a 5 to 7 thousand-dollar price tag that won't happen anytime soon.

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