Communication board at Wallingford playground provides tool for those who don’t use verbal speech

New Haven

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Parks like Doolittle Park in Wallingford are usually filled with sounds of joy.

There was a different emotion on display there Wednesday afternoon: Pride.  

“This is a dream come true to me,” said Lynn LaValley, a speech-language pathologist who was there for the dedication of a playground communication board.

It’s the perfect playground tool for those who communicate differently.

October is Augmentative and Alternative Communication Awareness (AAC) month. AAC includes the use of picture communication, speech-generating devices and sign language.

The communication board has the same symbols as the devices children have at home.

“We have comments up there. Things like “I like it. We have things like ‘ouch’ because we are at a playground. We might fall and get hurt. So, we want to be able to go ahead and support them by using the communication board,” LaValley said.

The parents of children with special needs, like Jennifer Worthington of Wallingford, were on hand for the ceremony.

“Today’s a great day and we’re very excited because there isn’t anything like that for children like my daughter, and for children like the other children that are here that have that device at home, and that’s how they communicate,” Worthington said.

The devices give her daughter the opportunity to express herself. It also gives her a little bit of independence.

AAC is not only used by individuals with special needs but also to support adults with various diagnoses, including Parkinson’s Disease.

For more information, visit LaValley’s website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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