Five-year-old Tongtong has had tons to say since he was a toddler. Now he finally can. Last year, he took home a Tobii Dynavox Indi™ with Communicator language software when Shanghai Qingcongquan Training Center for Children with Special Needs bought its first AAC devices. Tongtong has non-verbal autism. He’s been riding waves of progress since starting the highly-acclaimed program in the fall of 2016.
Then, “he couldn’t speak, wouldn’t look us in the eye, and had some repetitive and stereotyped behaviors,” said Rao Lio, Tongtong’s mother. “He had strong mood swings.” Thinking her son would just be a late talker, she worried that AAC intervention might hinder his speech development.
“Now he can tell us how he feels, that he is sad, he doesn’t want to do this, what he likes to eat.”
Cheng Jie eventually convinced Rao Lio to have Tongtong try the Tobii Dynavox products, through which he learned to make associations and answer questions.
Tongtong surprised the women when Cheng Jie prepared assorted treats for Tongtong to sample. They figured he would prefer sweets, but he turned to the Indi and identified a sour-tasting items as his favorite.
“Now he can tell us how he feels, that he is sad, he doesn’t want to do this, what he likes to eat.” Cheng Jie said. “AAC has given Tongtong a voice and will help him grow even more.”