Hi Bick! I have written before to express my appreciation for MyTalk and your great support. Today I am writing because I was able to use MyTalk this morning to help a friend in need, by quickly adding a page to my boards and e-mailing the printing link.
I got a call from a former co-worker of mine shortly after 9:00 a.m. this morning. She asked me if I had access to my Boardmaker software because her dad, who has laryngeal cancer (on top of additional medical and mental health challenges), just underwent a tracheotomy. My friend was looking for a way to support his communication. She explained tearfully about the frustration he was experiencing as he attempted to write with illegible script and confused words. Given that her dad is literate, I suggested that she start with simple printed sentences placed in a spreadsheet style grid. She indicated that due to his glaucoma, she was not sure if printed or typed text alone would be as helpful to him as picture supported communication. Of course, I would help her with this need.
Since it is summer break and because my office is packed up for a move, I told her it might take me a while to hunt down my Boardmaker, but that I would get over to my school sometime today to find it. If I couldn't find it, I would use some image searches and create something for her to pick up or to send as a file. Then it dawned on me...I didn't need to head out or hunt down images. I could open up MyTalk Workspace, create a page, and send her the e-mail link. It took me a few minutes to get used to some of the updates on the Workspace, but then I quickly put together a basic communication board for the 16 things my friend thought her dad would most likely need or want to say right now. Then I e-mailed her the link so she can print it as soon as she gets it. It was a quick and simple solution that worked because of some of the features MyTalk has available.
As an SLP, I have used MyTalk with my students as we have explored AAC options and early communication. I have recommended it for some of my students' families as they made AAC personal purchases, as well as for some of the students of other SLPs that I have provided consultation for. It has been a great tool for increasing communication for these kiddos and their communication partners. But, today, I was able to use MyTalk to help a friend and her family during a time of loss, sadness, and grief as she walks with her dad through the unknown of a disease that is ravishing him and taking away his voice. Thank you for helping to make that possible.
Kathy (SLP from Minnesota)
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