New device aids communication -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New device aids communication



December 31, 2002
by Sally Jo Hoover

Mobile, Alabama-- Imagine not being able to communicate that you're hungry, or need to go to the bathroom.

Children diagnosed with autism or neurological problems struggle with that problem every day.

Jordy can't talk, but with help from occupational therapists, he's able to communicate that he wants some chips. Jordy has autism, a communication disorder that keeps children alienated from society.

Bertie Dacus, his mother, says, "He just didn't want to have anything to do with children anymore, he didn't want to have anything to do with peers... kids his own age."

Autism is a form of sensory integration dysfunction, or SID. Shannon Norris, occupational therapist says,  "The brain is not understanding the input it's receiving from the senses."

A program called sensory integration at Thomas Hospital is giving Jordy what he needs to learn.  "We do stimulation first, then we try to move into challenging tasks and make Those most challenging tasks close to the stimulation like using the Dyno box," Norris.

The Dyna box is a helpful communication tool Jordy uses to express himself. Sensory integration also helps other disorders such as: ADD/ADHD attention Deficit disorder, Rhett syndrome, cerebral palsy and premature children.

Before therapy, Jordy couldn't do the things we take for granted, like getting dressed. Now he can. "Buckling a belt and unbuckling a bet to washing his hands, going straight to the sink, he's doing all that independently," Norris said. "He's starting to eat better with a spoon."

It's made life easier for mom as well. Bertie Dacus, "I've just seen the girls worked wonders with him here, and what they've taught me how to manage it at home."

The Dyno box, also known as the "Dynomyte System" is made by Dynovox systems .  You can contact them at  800-344-1778. Each Dynomyte system costs approximately $ 6,500.00.

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