By Patti Murphy
Like most 16-year-olds, Kreed is an independent thinker. He enjoys having choices, and the freedom to express his likes and dislikes, whether the subject is food, entertainment, or how he wants to spend the weekend. Until recently, however, he could not communicate those things easily. Primarily non-verbal because of his autism, Kreed has a history of challenging behaviors, including self-injury, grounded in his inability to speak. Behavior and communication were practically equivalent for Kreed while growing up. He often used aggression—making loud utterances, kicking, spitting, or refusing to move—to express thoughts and feelings.
The situation is improving dramatically now that Kreed uses the Tobii Dynavox T10. As the tablet augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) system makes it easier for him to communicate, Kreed’s distinctive voice is taking shape. His language abilities are beginning to flourish as he learns that communication is about talking and listening. He is growing as a person.