The sentence board has a long story to it. It had its humble beginnings with a carpenter going about the simple task of cutting a piece of plywood at home. However a lot of foresight, planning went into it. Frankly speaking the sentence board was way ahead of its time. It was my hubby’s idea. Soon the board was ready and therein began the task of deciding what words Ramam would want to use in his everyday life.
A quick inventory of his favourite food, activities, and objects was taken. This was easy, we were just looking at nouns. I am a pro at this, having done this inventory taking with various therapists trying to teach him various things such as making choices, language, fine motor skills. Then came the verbs, adjectives, phrases, (I want, I don’t want, please give me). And then a long list of all the helping verbs, prepositions, conjunctions… soon the ambitious project was already weighing us down. Then came the task of sorting and then putting them in boxes labelled it as nouns, verbs all of course colour coded to make life easy for ram. We were finally ready with the board, the cards with affixed Velcro.
Then came the task of getting him to use the board, but that was surprisingly the easy part, he took to it easily. He soon began to wear us down with the same requests every time. Somebody came up with the brilliant suggestion rotate the cards, so that he knows these are the choices available to him. So every day morning I set about doing this meticulously. A pouch was made and hung next to the board so that he could put all the used cards and no they were no longer available to him during the day.
Before long, the house was full of these cards. I have no idea how it happened. Ramam started playing with these cards. If I remember right he started pulling out the cards from the pouch and started playing with them. My husband would shout, “I found them lying here!”. The maid when sweeping would hand over few cards. Much later I realized there were other parents also who shared similar experiences. The cards had become playthings but we were not to give up easily.
We lugged the board through three transfers. I no longer have the cards with me, but the much weathered board now has a place of pride in his study room. One or two cards do pop up sometimes at the bottom of some box and we reminisce about those days. I made a different set of cards but this time the purpose of the board is different. It is a sentence construction board. I have made a set of cards specific to a picture we are going to talk about. The cards are all of various sizes, not color-coded…. but are serving the purpose. And Ramam enjoys the activity. An hour just whizzes by.