When your child can’t communicate.

I just got word that we’ll be losing another speech therapist.  I’ve been really struggling with Parker’s lack of ability to communicate and finding this out just added to my internal angst.

What do you do when your child can’t communicate? It’s time for me to get fierce in my focus on teaching Parker to communicate.

Besides the Pulmonary Hypertension, communication has been the hardest issue of Parker’s to deal with.  When Parker was very little he would chatter away using a very age appropriate babble.  Then we went to signing and Parker began his love affair with Rachel.

Parker signing More

Parker signing ‘more.’

It was hard work, but when he was desperate he would come up  and let me know  he was hungry, wanted to watch a dvd, wanted to go outside, wanted to swing, wanted to read books.

We switched over to using an iPad as a communication device. The idea was Parker would be able to communicate with more than just family members.  As soon as we made the switch Parker gave up using his signs.  Using an iPad as a communication device hasn’t been the answer to Parker being able to proclaim the desires of his heart.  It’s been FANTASTIC for other learning experiences, but not for speech.

Parker using his iPad as an ACC

Parker working with his iPad.

I’m not sure why this is.  It could have been me not providing Parker with the over 100 opportunities a day for him to communicate via the iPad. (Although I provided a lot)  Leaving it out for Parker to just pick up at anytime scared the beejeebers out of me.  One well aimed throw and it would have been goodbye iPad.

Parker wasn’t able to scroll through the folders to get to the words he needed.  It took close to a year for him to use the iPad to communicate a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’  I dislike Tap to Talk, and Proloqo2Go was over and above the budget, and I’m not a huge fan of the stick characters they use.

I made the decision to go back to signing.

Parker has perhaps a 50 sign vocabulary.  When he chooses to use it them is.  He loves to bounce on our big exercise ball.  He can sign both bounce and ball.  Instead he’ll just sit there knowing that I know he wants to bounce and refusing to sign.

It takes a lot to motivate this kid.  It’s wearing me down.  I need to find my mojo.   My super fierce one to be precise.

I know Parker has the ability.  I can’t figure out his lack of desire to communicate.  I wonder if part of it comes with being on a feeding schedule and never really feeling hungry.  Could it be due to always having someone doing something with him and he’s content with that?

Parker needs more intensive speech therapy if he is going to be able to communicate.  Speech therapy that includes not just signing but working on forming sounds as well.  I refuse to give up on the idea that this kid of mine will  be able to let me know his needs, his wants…..his loves.

Over the summer his speech therapy time will be even less.  So it really is time for me to get fierce on teaching Parker to communicate.

Private insurance isn’t going to touch anything to help with Parker’s communication.  We were told we could chose outside therapy for Parker’s waiver  to cover.  We chose feeding therapy.  (Parker’s waiver also reimburses our school district for the Home and Hospital speech therapist.)

I hoping there will be some who read this who can share their best online resources for teaching a child how to communicate.  What worked for you to motivate your child?  Was there a certain type of therapy that worked better than another?

If you could, would you remember us in your prayers?  I truly believe in inspiration from Above.  I believe there are answers out there, I’m just going to need some help finding them.


  1. Stan Mar 6, 13
    • Tammy and Parker Mar 6, 13
  2. suzanne Mar 6, 13
    • Tammy and Parker Mar 6, 13
  3. Frank dude Mar 6, 13
    • Tammy and Parker Mar 6, 13
  4. Rose Rolan Mar 7, 13
  5. Lauren Mar 7, 13
    • Sarah Feb 4, 14
  6. mamajoyx9 Mar 10, 13
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