Book Review of Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with his Wordless Daughter

Book Review of Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with his Wordless Daughter
Schuyler's Monster is a father's moving, personal account of navigating medical, educational and personal mazes on the path to finding a voice for his 5-year-old daughter, Schuyler, through augmentative-alternative communication (AAC) . Schuyler's Monster chronicles inspiring and heart-wrenching events from the time Schuyler was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder at 18 months to the eventual discovery of a remarkable tool that enables Schuyler to communicate beyond simple sign language.

Schuyler's ‘Big Box of Words,' a Vantage Lite voice output communication device manufactured by the Prentke Romich Company, was not easily obtained. Schuyler's public school refused to pay for a high-tech device on the grounds that it was "not educationally necessary." The family's private insurance did not cover AAC devices, and they made too much money to qualify for government assistance. So Robert Rummel-Hudson set up a fund raising web page and within five weeks had raised enough money to pay for Schuyler's ‘Big Box of Words.'

With device in hand, Schuyler sets off on a new journey in a new school district where she is mainstreamed into classes with neurotypical peers and for the first time makes a best friend who also speaks using a ‘Big Box of Words.' Schuyler learns to use her device to communicate everything from asking to color her hair purple (which she does) to telling the mall Santa Claus her Christmas wish list.

Schuyler's Monster is a story about perseverance, acceptance and hope. It is an inspiring story for parents of exceptional children, advocates, education and medical professionals alike.

For more of Schuyler's stories visit Robert Rummel-Hudson's blog.

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