Wednesday, March 8, 2017
His teacher asked him an easy yes-or-no question at one point, and as an aide held a keyboard in front of him, Mike typed the word “Yes” on the iPad, followed by a touch of sarcasm: “Duh.”
Mike is not able to speak. He points at letters on a laminated alphabet board or types on a keyboard that an aide holds. Nationally, most students who can’t talk are in self-contained classrooms or autism programs or, like Mike used to be, in a separate school for students with severe disabilities.
But five years ago, Mike and his mother traveled to Texas to explore a novel communication technique called Rapid Prompting Method that led to what his family describes as a breakthrough. About a year later, he joined a new pilot program in Montgomery County Public Schools for autistic students who rely on keyboards and communication partners...