Carter 'talks' with his mouth full all the time. He chomps down his food while asking questions and making comments during meals.
His talker has some useful features like pre-programmed phrases suitable for school aged kids, a variety of synthesized childrens' voices; all in the name of creating a more authentic communication experience. But, nowhere is there an option to change the voice so that it sounds like the user is talking with a mouthful (now that would make for an authentic communication experience).
We've noticed lately that Carter has been overdoing things a bit with this advantage of his to literally 'talk with his mouth full.' I think when you hear this, you'll agree that he's really pushing the envelope. We delegate the job of dinner time grace to Carter. It's a perfect way for him to participate at mealtime and he's proud to take on the task.
When we sit down for dinner, Carter knows what he's to do. He presses a couple of buttons, gains access to his mealtime words, and then hits the button programmed for grace. And then? My presumptuous little man picks up his fork and starts in on the first bite of his meal while his talker reels off grace.
Not being able to talk means not having to worry about talking with your mouth full. It also means saying grace while, at the same time, getting started on your meal.
Do you ever need to be reminded not to talk with your mouth full?
Disclaimer: Views in the Not Being Able to Speak series are derived from my personal experience with Carter. I do not speak on behalf of others with complex communication needs. It is not my intent to minimize or disregard the power of expression that can be found through the use of augmentative and alternative forms of communication.