Like most kids, when Molly enjoys her favourite after-school snack, she often wants more. To get her mom’s attention, she uses technology to speak her words.
Molly is seven years old and non-verbal. But, thanks to early access to a tech device from KidsAbility, she communicates her needs with a digital tablet attached to her wheelchair. It translates images and pictures into clearly audible words, simply by tracking her eye gaze.
When a local family has concerns about the needs of their child, they often turn to KidsAbility.
That was certainly the case for Molly and her family. They began working together with multiple therapists at KidsAbility to meet her physical and developmental delays as an infant, and her communication needs as a toddler.
“Before we began with KidsAbility’s Augmentative Communication Services team, Molly was working with her speech-language therapist to use her eyes to indicate her needs,” explains her mom, Fran. “Now she uses a digital communication program with a library of words so that as she grows, she builds the confidence to link words and form sentences.”
Today, Molly benefits from year-round opportunities to check in with her therapists. Fran is deeply grateful, and she often wonders how she would have gotten through the first seven years without their caring expertise.
“From the very beginning, I received help for Molly’s physical and communication needs but also for my emotional needs as a parent,” shares Fran. “Our therapists gave me hope and helped me to feel that I’m not alone – that what I’m going through isn’t at all strange to them.”
When the pandemic hit in 2019, therapy never stopped for KidsAbility families like Molly's. A fully adapted device to meet the school curriculum meant virtual learning was uninterrupted even as classes shifted to at-home. Now that she is back in class, Molly demonstrates greater confidence and independence with her classmates and teachers.
“Like all parents I want Molly to have every childhood opportunity just like her older brother Seamus,” shares Fran. “Having a child that might never walk means it’s even more important she has the right supports to express herself confidently—now and as a teen. Thanks to her teams at KidsAbility, it’s a goal we can work to achieve.”