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New ‘Playground Communication Board’ helping children interact on the playground

The sign is the first in the Rockwood School District, and she hopes it’s just the beginning.

ST. LOUIS — A new playground sign at Kellison Elementary in Fenton isn’t just for looks – it’s helping kids communicate.

The inspiration behind this sign is a 6-year-old boy who is on the autism spectrum. Amanda Roedel’s son, Blake, uses a talker device to help him communicate.

“Because he can’t vocalize his needs and wants to other people,” said Roedel.

But now, with the Playground Communication Board, Blake doesn’t need to rely on technology during recess. These boards are popping up around the world at playgrounds, parks and inside schools to help kids express themselves.

Blake’s mom was inspired to ask the school to purchase one after witnessing children coming up to him on the playground wanting to engage and interact with him but not knowing how to vocalize his words.

Thanks to the sign, Blake is now interacting with his classmates. It allows him to engage with his friends by pointing to different activities and emotions.

The sign is the first in the Rockwood School District, and she hopes it’s just the beginning.

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