Sunday, November 25, 2012
It has been a long process, trying to get a speech device for Avery. We were very close to getting the Eco2 by PRC--the paperwork was submitted and everything was moving-then we found out about the Accent 1200. PRC's newest device-smaller, lighter weight and with advanced eye gaze technology. We wanted to try it just to make sure it wasn't a better fit for Avery. In September we got to try it once. We spent a lot of time trying to get the thing to work right, get it calibrated etc, and even though we could see Avery was interested, we lost her due to making her wait too long. Then we decided we needed to do a long term trial (one month) but that the Accent 1200 wasnt yet available for that b/c it was so new. In late October we found out we would have it for a month! She used it at school for a while-instructors were trained and there were issues. It was freezing up, hard to get calibrated etc. Luckily the timing of the trial allowed us to keep the device at home over the week of Thanksgiving-giving us a lot of time to get Avery to use it.
I was able to speak to the PRC rep last Monday and we adjusted the settings and got it calibrated and got going. She showed me how to turn on the save data function-it keeps a record of everything that is "said" on the device and it can be downloaded later. It was super easy to save it to a flash drive-Im so glad I did because Avery did some pretty awesome things with it!
On monday, while talking to the rep, Avery's behavioral therapist was here helping. We had Avery sitting down in front of the device and was not that motivated. We got her some mini m&m's. and here is what she "said" (we hadn't turned on record yet and we were using the 45 1 hit display with all the icons showing)
want, do, go, read, is, do, need, chocolate.
when she hits "need" the activity row at the top gives her choices like "medicine" "help" "drink" etc and on the 2nd page, after you hit "more" there is chocolate. she wanted more m&m's. it was awesome.
then she said is, turn, do, need, drink, water, get.
I mean. come on.
We realized she was accidentally hitting words that were close to the words she really wanted so we hid some of those.
Later that day, she said go bathroom. So I took her and put her on the potty. She thought it was hysterical-and didnt go. But I had to reinforce it!
Another day, with her behavioral therapist, while eating yogurt after a meltdown she said: my eat yogurt good good more like. Her therapist asked her: are you happy now? and Avery answered yes.
On Thanksgiving, we took the device to grandmas but she wasnt into using it too much. Partly because we didnt really have a good spot for it and it was freezing up a bit on me.
The next day we took it up to her uncle's girlfriends parents river house about 4 hours north of here. We set it up in the kitchen in a high traffic area. The first thing she said was like need hug want please please I. So her uncle, who was siting there gave her a hug!
On Saturday morning, I was giving her breakfast and she walked over to the Accent and once I got her in the right spot she said need medicine. And I said, yes you do need your medicine goose! She takes pills every morning and she was right on with a reminder!
Around snack time, she went up to it on her own and said eat raisins. Luckily I had some. :)
That night, we were getting ready to get in the car for our long drive home and she again went to it on her own and said drink, want, read, go, walk, I live in pleasant hill. I know she was saying-Im ready to go home! Lets go!
Im pretty convinced that this is just the beginning of wonderful things. Im very encouraged.
The Accent goes back to school tomorrow and back to PRC on Wednesday....and then we wait. Again. Keep your fingers crossed.