The Sun Comes Out in Rhett's World!
Our little guy Rhett was fortunate enough to have been introduced to AAC not long after he turned 3! When Rhett started at Gerner Early Education Center he was using PECS as his only mode of communication but we quickly learned we could not keep up with his receptive vocabulary skills. Shortly after, Sophies Run entered his world and we’ve never looked back.
Rhett quickly realized he could request his wants, needs and favorites. Whether that be goldfish, paw patrol or milk- those make for big feelings at 3 years old when you can’t verbally communicate them! Giving Rhett an AAC device allowed the sun to come out in Rhett’s world. While there are definitely moments of struggle, we now have a way for Rhett to help us help him.
While Rhett’s autism diagnosis brings its own challenges, his ability to now use his *voice* alleviates so many of those challenges we used to have. The guessing game is over now that we have a tool to guide us all. We have learned that AAC is not just a tool for Rhett, but for our family as a whole. AAC doesn’t work unless we do too and while that can seem daunting some days, we know the benefits are so worth the work. Rhett is now a kindergartener at Hawthorn and doing quite well. He has really hit the jackpot with teachers, TA’s and therapists ever since his first year at Gerner and beyond and because of that continuous stream of support he has become a better, more functional AAC user. Thanks to his device he can engage and participate in phonics lessons, show off his reading and spelling skills and advocate for basic wants and needs both at home and at school. This Valentine’s Day, Rhett was able to tell his teachers he loves his sister Kinzie, because she is brave and friendly- things that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible without his device. Those *words* alone have made our journey, difficult moments and all, worth more than anything we could describe. We still have so many school years ahead of us, but we can’t even imagine where we’d be today if Rhett hadn’t had the opportunity to start with AAC at such a young age. We are forever grateful for Sophie’s Run and can’t wait to see where AAC takes us throughout Rhett’s academic journey!
Written by Mom, Brittany