Maurice page

A Diamond in the Rough 


Super cute now, but when Maurice came to the Centre for the first time two years ago when he was almost 3, he was the tantrum king. A psychologist who’d assessed him said he communicated by screaming because he didn’t understand speech.

At first Maurice screamed at us, too, but once we’d shown him that if he used a communication aid to ask for something, we’d give it to him, he calmed down. By the end of his second visit he used it to say Please.

With funding from a Community Grant we got Maurice an iPad with the Aacorn app that encourages young children to speak in sentences, and his wonderful mum and brother started encouraging him to use it at home. Practice, practice, practice….

Now instead of screaming Maurice reaches for his iPad.  He’s in a regular kindergarten, and while his speech isn’t as fluent as the other children’s yet, it has improved markedly.  In March 2016 he did a Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and scored in the average range for kids of his age.

The assessments Maurice was given before he had a means of communication were worthless – as useless as a chocolate teapot.

We want to change the way children with little speech are assessed.

We want to ensure they get voices, not negative labels.

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Anne McDonald Centre. 538 Dandenong Road, Caulfield 3162 Victoria, Australia Ph: 03 9509 6324, Fax: 03 9509 6321
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