Early on we realized that Meredith would need an alternative way to communicate due to her tracheostomy. So, we started out teaching her ASL and learning along with her, thinking this was just for a couple of years. Then when she was 3 years old we found out that she also has a paralyzed vocal cord and that it is not likely to resolve on its own. At this point we knew that we had to step it up a notch with teaching and learning ASL and consider other communication alternatives.
Once Meredith was enrolled in the public school system it became very apparent to them as well, that something needed to be done to help her language development progress. Fortunately by then, the Nova Chat had recently progressed to the 7” tablet which is the perfect size for Meredith, since she is a very petite 5 year old. In late spring 2013 Meredith received her Nova Chat. Since then, Meredith’s language is steadily improving and she is even able to communicate with sentences. She does have a great sense of humor for her age and often she will make a request using sign, but will then use her Nova Chat to say the same thing, as if to let us know she doesn’t think we understand her or perhaps we are too slow. I would say her favorite thing to do right now with her Nova Chat is to request pasta. Since it is her current favorite food she will say, “I want to eat more pasta, pasta, pasta!” I also believe that using the Nova Chat has helped to improve her signing. She has become so much better combining two or three signs when communicating, rather than making one word requests. While it is still early and she is still young I am so happy that Meredith is able to have total communication thanks to her Nova Chat.