Our partners, Communication Space Centre in Moscow, support children and young people who do not communicate verbally. We support their Alternative Technology programme, using hi- and low-tech means to make communication possible. We are delighted that they have been able to move to bigger and better premises recently.
Sasha is one of thirty children and teenagers that Communciation Space help with regular one-to-one and group activities funded by St Gregory’s Foundation. Sasha is 14. Like all Communication Space’s young people he does not communicate verbally. He also has learning, emotional and behavioural problems. In just six months, Communication Space have helped him make great progress.
To make things easier, Sasha’s parents are highly motivated and had already been using a communication book with him. He was able to choose from a number of options, such as choosing what he wanted to eat, but he could only use it in a limited range of scenarios.
Communication Space made Sasha a new communication book with the symbols arranged in a way that was more accessible for him. Because Sasha finds it difficult to lift his arm a great deal, we laid the book out horizontally so that it is physically easier to use. This has made Sasha more willing to use it.
Sasha has increased his vocabulary of symbols so that he can tell people what he wants to do in a wider range of situations. His new book also allows him to ask questions as well as answer. They also made him a smaller book for taking out and about. His mother says that they use the books a lot at home.
Sasha is very sensitive to sound and would react strongly if a noise (such as the food processor in a cooking session) bothered him. He now has noise cancelling headphones, which help a great deal. He’s finding it much easier now to be with the others in the group and join in the activities.
The new Centre is yet to be equipped fully, and Communication Space continues to raise funds to help more young people like Sasha.