The OT saw Gabe again...

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
The OT saw Gabe again...
4
Wed, 03-03-2010 - 4:34pm

I got a note home from the OT at Gabe's school. She gave him a wiggle pad to try. If it works for him then they are going to order him one. She also gave him a stretch band to use before circle time. One that will help him get some sensory input. She showed the teachers some deep pressure things....but I don't know if he will let them touch him. He gets funny about people touching him. It's okay if I do...but other people are not allowed. And even with me he only wants those big hugs on his terms.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the sensory stuff will start to help at circle.

Next week I am supposed to be having the meeting with the sped ed and reg ed teacher. Hopefully they won't cancel this one like the one last week.

Hope everyone is having a good week.

Oh and I have really happy news. The AAC team at AI duPont Children's hospital wants to evaluate Gabe's speech/language development and assess him for an aac device. We already use the itouch as an aac device, but it would be nice to have a better functioning one. I can't wait to see what they say about his speech/language. And this is the perfect time to do this...because he starts kindy in the fall....this eval will give some good info about his language development before kindy even starts. I am very excited. Now I just have to get insurance to pay for it.



Jessie mommy to Gabe(5 years ASD/CAS/SID)and baby Zane (1 year old)



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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-04-2010 - 1:20am

Oh, I just helped with an eval for one of my kids using an iTouch. There are now 3 different AAC apps for it. VERY cool! And VERY Portable! (which is huge with AAC). Not a lot you can do linguistically with them but great as a portable AAC.

When you go let me know. I use a lot of AAC in my classroom and it has become an area of interest for me.

Does he use PECS or another communication system? Can he navigate the pages for PECS and find things by categories? Is he able to navigate the iTouch himself to find what he wants to request?

There are a number of alternative communication options starting low tech (PECS), then static display then finally dynamic display voice output (with tons of options and I have my favorites).

Since I have a K-2 autism class I have had kids come in or start AAC devices in my class. One thing I have noticed is that the kids really need some good pre-requisite skills to be profficient with a dynamic AAC otherwise they get thrown and broken or not utilized. Initiations of communication and basic idea how to communicate with pictures is key. Starting with a static in preK is often helpful before moving up to a dynamic.

Good luck! It is an awesome adventure. BTW my current personal favorite dynamic display for about that age is a springboard light but if he has really high skills academically the vantage light (next level up) might be good too. I like springboard better for that age but if a kid is really bright and learns fast he will outgrow the springboard in a couple years.

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Registered: 09-12-2008
Thu, 03-04-2010 - 8:26pm

Does he use PECS or another communication system?

Gabe started using PECS when he was 2 years old. Even before we knew he had autism. We started him with pictures on our fridge to aid in communication. It took some time and loads of prompting but we he started to point to pictures to get food items. We then added other PECS symbols like play objects, outside, needs, etc. We tried to put them in a PECS book but because of fine motor control he wouldn't flip the pages. So we stopped.

Is he able to navigate the iTouch himself to find what he wants to request?

Gabe can navigate the iTouch very well on his own. He is able to scroll through the different category sets and find what he wants. I usually only have to show him once where a word is and then he can find it on his own. The iTouch is pretty limited in what it can do...but as far as cheap aac devices go....it ROCKS! It comes preloaded with tons of words and picture sets. The only big problem with the itouch is it's very time consuming to edit it on the actual itouch. There is so much back and forth editing...it drives me bonkers.

Gabe started using a SGD (speech generated device) when he was almost 3. We downloaded a few sample programs on our laptop. He had no problem using them.

Gabe is verbal...and sometimes he is very verbal. It's hard to explain online how Gabe's speech/language is. He is in the 12 percentile for grammar. And about 2 years behind himself in other areas of speech and language. Gabe has severe word retrieval issues. He sometimes appears to have had a stroke because he just stands there and cannot tell me what he wants. Even if it is something he requested the day before. We are hoping the aac will help with pragmatic language and retrieval issues. And I hope it opens more doors for communication for him. We'll see. Even if the aac team thinks he is okay without one we will still walk away with a ton of knowledge.

As far as AAC's go we have used PRC (prentke romic company) devices. We used the springboard and the vantage by PRC. The vantage is more in Gabe's league because he is so computer savvy and so visual that he would outgrow the springboard in no time flat. The nice thing about PRC's devices is they use a program called minspeak. Minspeak is an amazing program. It's a language all in itself. With minspeak the users ability to communicate are endless. We also tried the dynavox V and cyrano, and I think one called mightymo.

I am excited to see what happens. I can't wait to go.



Jessie mommy to Gabe(5 years ASD/CAS/SID)and baby Zane (1 year old)



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-04-2010 - 10:23pm

Wow, he is doing great for a kid not even in Kindy!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE minspeak and I was thinking before you got there that that would be a good language system for him because of the linguistics of it. You are right, if he can navigate like that then the Vantage is a better option or he will outgrow the spingboard too quickly.

I have a little guy right now who is similar (bright, can navigate awesome but my little guy is likely more autistic than gabe and has a hard time with anything even close to not concrete). So He uses a vantage machine with PWP (picture word power) language system. I still like minspeak better but I am getting adapted to the PWP too.

Personally, not a huge fan of dynavox machines. Love the company and some of their curriculum as well as boardmaker but the actually AAC devices I don't like as well at all.

Good luck with the assessment!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Sat, 03-06-2010 - 9:36am

I did not care for the dynavox systems either. I did like the voice options they have. Gabe's itouch has Kenny's voice on it. It sounds more real the the dectalk voices on PRC's devices...but PRC's devices are so great.

I don't know where things will end up as far as getting a device, but it would be nice to know that he has support if needed before he starts kindergarden.

I will keep you posted....



Jessie mommy to Gabe(5 years ASD/CAS/SID)and baby Zane (1 year old)



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Jessie mommy to Gabe(5 years ASD/CAS/SID)and baby Zane (1 year old)



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