In the Jewish community, there’s a certain jockeying among parents (at least among the moms) about whose kid spoke first, or who said the longest sentence, or who asked the best question. And while an early verbal ability often equates to high intelligence, what about the kids who can’t verbalize?
In our journey with Danny, we have met many disabled children, teens and adults who can’t verbalize, due to various developmental disabilities, yet they still have plenty to say, if only they can find the right alternative communication system. For some, it takes a complicated computer voice output device to be able to communicate, and for others, a simple letter pointing board can make all the difference.
Over the years, Danny has worked his way up the ladder of various alternative electronic devices, starting with a simple device such as this
and he is now using a pretty sophisticated voice output device that uses icon pictures, as well as a keyboard. Most of the time, he likes to tell us what he wants to do such as go to the beach or the park, or talk about his cat (a major topic as you might gather from previous posts). Lately, he is also using it to look ahead at the calendar, such as upcoming holidays and when Camp Ramah starts. In school, he uses it for spelling words and to help drill the Freshman basketball team (his aide is a former basketball coach).
There’s a new documentary called “Certain Proof: A Question of Worth” which will have its west coast premiere in Los Angeles this coming Saturday, June 4th at 10 am at the Laemmle’ Sunset 5 as part of the “Dances with Films” low budget independent film festival.
The film is a feature documentary about three children living with significant communication and physical disabilities and depicts their parents struggling against the public school system in an emotional battle to prove their worth. I am hoping we can get a copy of the film for a showing when it is not Shabbat, but in the meantime, you can get a real sense of the film by watching the trailer at http://www.certainproof.com/press.html
Although Certain Proof doesn’t feature any pirates, drunken bachelors or food-poisoned bridesmaids, this is still a summer film worth seeing.