What is this “Big Box of Words”?
In Schuyler's Monster, Robert Rummel-Hudson shares the story of his daughter Schuyler, now nine years old, who was born with a rare neurological brain disorder called bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria (PMG), which prevents her from being able to speak. Throughout his book, Rob talks about what Schuyler calls her “big box of words,” PRC’s Vantage speech-output device.
Assistive technologies in the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) include speech output devices that “speak” the user's intended word or phrase based on the device keys selected either by direct touch, scanning, or headpointing. The simplest AAC devices produce single words or simple commands; more sophisticated AAC devices like the Vantage Lite previously used by Schuyler, enable virtually unlimited and fully personalized communication.
“As we began exploring the possibilities of assistive technology when Schuyler was five, we tested different devices of varying complexity from different manufacturers,” says her father. “Schuyler gravitated to PRC's Vantage almost immediately, and even in the short time she evaluated the device, we could see its potential.
“Instead of just giving her preprogrammed pages of useful phrases, it led her through language, teaching her how the things she wanted to say were constructed. It appealed to her inquisitive and extremely sociable nature. I sensed that she’s been longing for years to have an actual conversation.”
From “Big Box of Words” to “Pinkessa”
For more information about AAC, visit the AAC Institute website:
To learn more about this remarkable journey by a father and his daughter, visit Robert Rummel-Hudson’s Blog:
What makes AAC important to Schuyler?
PRC: Dedicated to Communication without Limitations
AAC devices from industry leader Prentke Romich Company (PRC) use a proven language learning system called Unity®. The Unity system expands along with the user's vocabulary and capabilities to enable the most spontaneous and independent communication possible.
Since 1966, Prentke Romich Company (PRC) has been a global leader in the development and manufacture of augmentative communication devices, computer access products, and other assistive technology for people with severe disabilities.
In addition to its powerful communication devices - Vanguard™, Vantage/Vantage™ Lite, ECO™-14, and SpringBoard™ Lite - PRC also provides a wide array of high-quality teaching and implementation tools, therapy materials, curriculum sequences, funding assistance, and training to speech-language pathologists, special educators, and the families of AAC communicators.
To learn more about PRC and its communication aids, go to www.prentrom.com or call (800) 262-1984.
-- Cherie Weaver, PRC
ECO, SpringBoard, Vanguard and Vantage are trademarks of Prentke Romich Company. Unity® is a registered trademark of Semantic Compaction™ Systems in the United States and other countries.