Nineteen-year-old autistic Staten Island resident Nicholas D’Amora communicates with a QWERTY letterboard.
“‘It has to be at their appropriate level; you have to assume competence, but this is just a teaching method. The communication is later on. It takes time, patience, persistence, and trust on their part to know that you are confident and you believe in them,’ Cannella said. In Nicholas’ case, Cannella holds a board with a QWERTY keyboard printed on it and spells words by pointing to each letter…. Barbara and Nicholas were taught in 2010, and after learning — and struggling — for almost two years, Nicholas reached the point of open-ended communication and has been “fluent” for nearly five years.”
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