On December 4, Aimee and her family nurse brought her eleven year old son and patient, Ernie, to Children’s Village. Ernie experiences Down syndrome and autism. He came to the Village for special speech therapy. Whitney, Ernie’s therapist, had an iPad that spoke words and phrases for Ernie when he pressed the buttons.
It was apparent that Ernie was making strides in improving his motor and speech skills. He took off his coat and shoes by himself, and smiled and waved at the reporter (me) when she said hello to him. At first, he was shy and reluctant to use the iPad to “verbally” say hello, so he pushed the “Please wait” phrase button a couple of times, but then he decided to push the hello button. Whitney, Aimee, and the nurse, meanwhile, cheered for him when he used the iPad or sat up straight.
The three adults in the room patiently waited for Ernie to push a button on the iPad. Sometimes Ernie would wave his arms and Whitney would gently tell him to stop. Whitney, Aimee, and the nurse showed great patience and compassion with Ernie that day, providing gentle guidance and support as Ernie found ‘his voice’ on the iPad. This experience demonstrated the patience and gentleness of a Children’s Village therapist.