Abiella’s Buttons: Affordable Assistive Technology for Children Who Are Non-Verbal

learning buttons communication deviceWe got these buttons for Abi about a year ago and we LOVE them. I found them in Beyond Play magazine. Each can hold a 10 second recording. You can record over them as many times as you want. We put velcro on the back of them and attached them to this board, (which is just a piece of cardboard wrapped in fabric). This allows us to switch the buttons up. We can remove some and provide one choice, 2 choices, etc. $39 total! They are super sensitive and don’t require a hard direct “push.” A light touch makes them activate. Great affordable option for some of our non-verbal friends….We have also put velcro on the head rest in her corner chair. This allows us to put buttons on either side, providing her a way to activate them with her cheeks. This has been great for teaching cause and effect. Abi seems to be most successful with choices when using her head to activate the buttons. Her teachers at school also have similar buttons they put near her head when she’s in their lap, in her chair, or in her stander. These buttons allow her to say things like “Hi!” “My name is Abi” and “More Please.” We also have a lot of Abi’s favorite music on many of them to provide motivation and get her used to activating them. We hope that with practice these buttons might offer her a way to independently activate toys and to communicate. And for less than $40?!?! Heck yes.

~Mary Susan

PS: A few months ago, a few of our wonderful family members saw that Abi loved these buttons and ordered her more as a surprise.  One by one Abi got them in the mail and she was able to activate them with her cheek and hear a loved one’s voice or an instrument being played for her! SO FUN.  One day she had to take something to school that began with the letter M for show-and-tell. She took the button that Meena (her great grandmother) had sent her with a song she sings over the phone to her every Sunday night. The teacher said that Abi just LOVED IT and had so much fun showing the class her awesome toy (and her great grandmother’s voice and song). Thanks family!