Girl Scout with Rett Syndrome finds voice through technology .
by JADE MINGUS / KVUE News
Posted on January 21, 2012 at 5:35 PM
Updated Saturday, Jan 21 at 6:37 PM
AUSTIN, Texas -- An 8-year-old Girl Scout is overcoming her silence and finding her voice.
Saturday morning third grader Marion Buxton and Girl Scout Troop 110 sold cookies at the Walgreen’s store at Parmer and Metric.
Buxton has Rett Syndrome and is unable to speak on her own. However, last month she got a special device that helps her communicate. Saturday she helped fellow Girl Scouts ask customers whether they wanted to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies.
Buxton operated the device by using her eyes. She must gaze at a symbol on the screen for it to play a pre-programmed phrase. Buxton’s mother Wendy helped program the phrases which included, “Hi, my name is Marion and I'm a Girl Scout Brownie from Troop 110,” and, “Thank you for supporting your local Girl Scouts.”
Rett Syndrome is an X chromosome mutation that affects girls the majority of the time. It has affected Buxton’s ability to speak, walk and use her hands.
“She's just a girl who has hopes, desires and dreams,” Wendy said. “She just isn't able to articulate them like the rest of us.”
Wendy helps lead Buxton’s Girl Scout Troop, which meets at a church in Manor.
“I was looking for a place where she could play, have fun and meet other girls,” said Wendy “They don't see her disability; they just see her as differently-abled.”
Medicaid gave Buxton her device on a trial basis, but the family hopes they can use it permanently.
“Now we can ask her questions, and we can really know what she wants," Wendy said. "That's what we all want -- to be heard.”
The money raised from the troop’s cookie sales will help pay for the girls to go camping.