Sunday, August 23, 2009

5 Little Monkeys Jumping on a Bed

Cole is now 2 1/2 years old and he still can not talk.

I love this video of him playing the “5 Little Monkey’s Jumping on a Bed” game on the Dynavox. You can see he is so excited and he wants to interact with it. He is squealing in delight.

As you may know, if you have read previous posts, we have been teaching Cole ASL as taught on the Signing Time DVD’s.

Cole is very bright and it is obvious he knows what WE are signing to him. There are even some signs that I think he is attempting. But, we don’t want to close any doors and will try ANY means of communication with Cole.

The above video is from when the Dynavox representative came to see if she thought Cole would even be able to use this device. She (Neala) was very kind and patient and feels like Cole is very capable of using a communication device.

With this particular device we have SO many options that would assist Cole. We first tried using the eye scan method. This was very cool. A ‘scanner’ (of sorts) was attached to the bottom of the device and could read both eyes and Cole would be able to scan/choose what he wants with only his eyes.

Well, he would be able to use this IF his abilities made this his only option. This method will not work for Cole as his head is too floppy and he would not be able to hold his head up straight enough to consistently look at the box to choose what he wants.

Another option would be to use a ‘switch’. This looks like the big red ‘Easy’ button that you may have seen in the office supply commercials. Typically this may be located around the head area. Again, I’m not sure this would work for Cole due to lack of head control and….he is a bit claustrophobic about things around his head and would probably completely freak out. Although, we could use the switches for his hand and/or feet. He loves to use his feet so that may be an option for him.

We prefer, and think Cole does too, the last option of Cole simply touching the screen to choose what he is wanting the device to say for him. He does tend to drag his hand and is not completely accurate right now. We think this will improve with practice.

In any case, it is very obvious that Cole is a very smart little boy and he WANTS to use his hands to use this device.

The Dynavox is awesome! It can start out very simple and can grow with him as he learns to talk/form sentences. We can download books (which he totally LOVES) and music (LOVES just as much) and videos, etc.

We are praying that some day his mouth and head and trunk muscles (very low tone) will some day be strong enough that he will be able to talk. If this never happens, then we just want him to be able to communicate his needs and wants and thoughts…in whatever manner that may be.