Schreiber Pediatric and DynaVox Technology Give a Local Little Girl a Voice

(LANCASTER, Pa.)-When Roy Martin comes home at the end of the day, his little girl can’t run to greet him at the door and shower him with hugs and kisses. Instead, she lies patiently in bed and waits for him to come to her, twisting her lips into a crooked smile. She welcomes him with a robotic sounding “I love you, Daddy,” from the DynaVox Vmax mounted beside her, a communication device that gives her now immobile body a voice.

Three-year-old Natalie has progressive Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and although her muscles have weakened and atrophied, her cognitive ability remains unaffected. Trapped by her own body, she has been unable to truly communicate her needs until now. With the help of her therapists at Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center, Karen Thomsen and Beth Shelley, Natalie was recently approved for a personal DynaVox Vmax and EyeMax Accessory. She is the first child to be given this equipment for full-time use in the home through the written consent of the Center. Natalie is now able to vocalize everything-from her need to be repositioned or use her cough assistance to answering yes or no questions or playing a game-through blinking or dwelling on a desired area of a screen with her eyes.

On November 15, Natalie will celebrate her 4th birthday and thanks to the dedicated staff at Schreiber Pediatric and advanced technology like DynaVox, she’ll be able to virtually ‘blow out’ her birthday candles.

Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center is a nationally recognized not-for-profit organization that provides physical, occupational and speech-language therapy, as well as educational and recreational programs for nearly 4,000 children in Lancaster County living with congenital and acquired disabilities and developmental delays.