Cate’s Words – Facilitated Communication

I have been talking a little about facilitated communication (FC) with Cate and I wanted to share an update. We started with the FC board after our last trip to http://www.iahp.org in March. It is taking time for mom and Cate to get used to the board but she is doing really well! (This is not to replace her speech but to help us understand her while she works on getting her voice.)

Facilitated Communication Board

Cate’s Facilitated Communication Board

Her first big breakthrough was in April. Not only did she show us she could use her FC board well she also showed us she is reading and comprehending advanced material. She told me, “I learned every ramp is an inclined plane.” Her exact words. Because she can read so much faster than I can I had to go back to the book and find the section she learned this from.

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Earlier this week she read several books in a series titled “How to Care for Your First Pet.” Every animal we read about she tells me she wants one as a pet. After reading the book about rats as pets she told me she would like to have a rat. When I asked what she would do with the rat she said, “sit and watch the rat play on a map, then feed the rat carrots.” 14 words!! This took her a little while with a few breaks but she was determined. Each week she gets faster on the board.

Cate and Charlie are reading about 35 books each week from the library. Because of Cate’s vision the letters in the books need to be 16 pt or larger (about 3 mm). We have officially read all of the advanced (2nd-5th grade level) books at our small local library and now we will have to go to the larger library branch in town. But first I need to find that one book that didn’t make it back into the library basket and is missing… Hmm, wish me luck.

I am encouraged by you readers and my friends! I have had several people with hurt and well children that are now looking at the programs they can do with their kids at home after reading about Cate’s successes. There are still a lot more to come but we are so incredibly proud of both of our kids!

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