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January 18, 2009

Communication 101 . . .

As parents of a child, who is high-functioning autistic, we continually strive to improve our daughter's communication skills. Social skills and speech therapy, counseling, excursions with other special needs children etc. etc. etc.

This weekend I got a lesson in teenage communication during my daughter's 13th birthday sleepover.

The lesson: any1 can tx n tx n tx.

Five teenagers in the house for the nite, one phone (since half were phone grounded) and all they did (between eating and playing the Wii) was text and text and text. . . all nite.

The next morning, I asked them if they would text my daughter, if we got her a new phone.

"ARE YOU KIDDIN?" they said "WE'LL TEXT HER LIKE CRAZY"

So, after clearing the house of the party yesterday, we headed off to Verizon to acquire a new phone. My daughter had only two requirements: It had to be a messaging phone and it had to be blue.

The guy at the store kept asking me if I was sure I wanted the phone we chose, because we could not return it. Teenagers can be really finicky he said. I finally told him:

My daughter is autistic, it's blue and she can text. End of story.

Of course, my husband was sceptical too. What if she doesn't use it, he asked. I said, no worries, her friends will get her texting.

Soooo, last night, while I was trying to catch up on my e-mail and e-news, my daughter comes running into my office, completely out of breath, shoves the phone in my face and waves her hands (interpretation: Someone sent me a text, how do I text her back.) Together we figured it out and to make a long story short:

She spent half the night texting, started again this morning and wavered on going to the gym with her father until he reminded her that she could take the phone with her and text from there.

The moral of the story, speech is not an impediment for a textin teen.

Nianya

National Autistic Society

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