This is the second in a series of posts that discuss and demonstrate the use of Speech Generating Devices (SGD). Please read the previous post if you've no idea what these are. As mentioned in my previous post, these devices are such a useful tool for non-verbal or barely verbal children with autism that I want to share some ideas about how and why and when to use them.
Below you will find a video model of a game using a GoTalk20+ Speech Generating Device. A video model is a demonstration that teaches either a child or an adult play partner or both how to play a game. I used adults on both sides of the exchange so that all the parts would be done in an ideal manner. With your own child, there will be a learning period and for many children the game would be even more simply conducted at the start--perhaps with just the yes/no buttons used. You may want to watch a bit of the clip, just to see what a game using one of these machines might look like. You may want to watch the whole clip to see how much language to use and get a feel for the pacing of a whole game using a Speech Generating Device. You may want to show the video to your child if you want your child to see how to play a game while talking with a machine.
The words selected for the device were selected so that the child playing could experience using language for a variety of social purposes. Here are the words selected and the social language function of each word or phrase:
I don't want--protest
I Want--request, question
Let's play--initiating social interaction
Front--answer question, direct behavior
Back--answer question, direct behavior
Yes--answer Y/N question, direct behavior
No--answer Y/N question, direct behavior
The child playing this game can play both roles with this set of words although not all of them are demonstrated in this video model since roles were not reversed on video. The role of the person sending out the puzzle pieces would be the adult role to start with. The role of the person putting the puzzle together would be the child initially. As the child learns to use all the words provided and to play both roles, the child will have used language actively to initiate the game, keep the game going, direct behavior, ask questions, answer questions, make comments. See the symbols used on the board by looking at the previous post.