Augmentative Communication Program Patient Stories

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Contact the Augmentative Communication Program

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The Gift of Expression—Hoyt Family


When I was a few weeks old, my dad and mom noticed I was not progressing like their friends' kids," Rick Hoyt recalls. "And after the medical exam, doctors told my parents I would be a vegetable. To this day, I don't know what kind of vegetable I'm supposed to be."


Although cerebral palsy has rendered him quadriplegic and unable to talk, Rick still cracks jokes through a high-tech communication device he was taught to use by John Costello, MA, CCC-SLP, director of Children's Augmentative Communications Program (ACP). Now in his late-40s, Rick has been treated at Children's since he was 10.

Rick, like many ACP patients, can't effectively communicate via speech, writing or sign language, but still has a lot to say. Using everything from simple picture boards to the latest voice output communication technology, Costello and his team help ACP patients express themselves.



How you can help

You can help give kids and adults like Rick the chance to reveal their true thoughts, desires and personality with a gift to ACP. Learn more.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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