Avaz is my Voice
When I decided to buy Avaz for Sivaa, I had no choice left than to try this last option for my so called non verbal boy. I owe to Smrithy Rajesh for empowering parents like me who were actually struggling with communication difficulties of their children.
Smrithy Rajesh is a parent and special educator. You can reach her through
In this moment, when Sivaa started to use Avaz as a communication tool, I’m thinking how much I would have missed him and how little I would have understood about him, if I didn’t try Avaz for Sivaa
I would not have actually understood that Sivaa need a voice.
When I started customizing Avaz app, I used Siddhus sound for expressing some Malayalam words. But I was surprised to see that he wouldn’t answer or touch those folders as he has already recognized himself to a English child’s voice. By resonating to that English child he made it very clear that he wanted a sound different from three of us.
I would have taken him for granted.
He was very clear with his choices after we introduced Avaz. Earlier it was always Tea for Sivaa but now there are days where Sivaa would opt for Boost or Bournvita. Music was played only during music time but now he made me understand that he needs music whenever he has nothing to do. Last day he was not well and didn’t go to school, so he made me hear his playlists for 2 hours and I actually had to beg him to stop it. Video has been attached.
Through Avaz I learned to respect his dignity.
His choices are very abstract and very clear. He made me understand that ‘No’ is always a ‘No’ eventhough I’m his mother and he is my child. I usually say this to Siddhu but has never thought from his angle. When I expects my neuro typical to do something and if he says ‘No’ then that’s the end. I use all my powers and authority as a mother. But when Sivaa.. The neuro divergent and the one who taught me unconditional love started saying ‘No’ to my demands, I started respecting his dignity.
This para can be misinterpreted but I feel at times it’s okay for a child to say No, if parent knows to draw a line between what can be No and what cannot be No..
Avaz as a communication tool is creating a joyous and loving bond between us.
Last day I was talking to my neighbor and Sivaa knew that if she comes I would forget everything and spend hours chatting to her. He was quiet for the first 20minutes and after that he came with Avaz and tapped the sitting folder and too much sound folder two to three times. I soon quit the chit chat session and entered the house. It sounded like I’m sitting here and I could not withstand your loud sound. And on an another day my mother in law called me for a casual talk, hearing the phone bell, he ran from the other room with Avaz and tapped the clock folder. It was a reminder to check the time as it was nearing to his snacks time. So before the next warning bell, my poor mum in law, kept the phone saying let him be on time as always.
This shouldn’t be viewed as him an Authoritarian. All these are such happy moments where the mother is little over charged with emotions as her all those years muted child has a come up with a voice.
Without Avaz I would not have understood that there are actually days he wish not to do his favorite activity.
Earlier it was like everyday swimming for Sivaa irrespective of the climatic conditions thinking that it’s his favorite activity and he would love to do that at any time. But last week when Kerala was hit with heavy rains, he communicated through Avaz that he doesn’t feel like Swimming.
So Sivaa… My warrior… you take the lead.. I will follow you with a chalk in my hand thinking when and where to draw a line.
Preetha Anoop Menon