Made of Gray

Caleigh's Communication Part 3

Holly D Gray5 Comments
Last week the DynaVox representative came to our house. She brought a couple of devices with her and Caleigh did SO well with it. Holy Cow she did good!
DynaVox seems to be more user customizable then the PRC devices that we have tried. Even down to the length of time Caleigh has to touch the choice. So instead of the device saying "I want I want I want I want" while Caleigh takes the time to pick up her fingers; we can program the device with a time limit and it will only say "I want" once.

The screen brightness lowers much better. The PRC device seemed too bright for Caleigh's eyes. The DynaVox goes darker.

The screen is easier to touch and Caleigh doesn't have to try so hard to push the right choice.

Once a choice is made the screen moves to a second area which allows another choice. This prevents accidental choices which we were seeing with the other device.

I can even take a photograph of Caleigh's play room {or any room}, import it into the device and label the different things in the room. Then Caleigh could just simply touch what she wants in the room and it would say what it is.

The language system can be anything that we want. If we want Caleigh to touch individual buttons for "I" "Need" "Diaper" than we can. If I want her to be able to hit a phrase button that says "I need my diaper changed" than we can do that too. We decide button placement and meaning. This is a good thing for us. I really like the language system that PRC has. It seems to teach the words not just hitting a button that says a sentence for you.

I had a proud mama moment when I was telling Caleigh what the buttons meant. She wasn't picking anything and we could tell she was done playing. The rep added the "all done" button, handed the device back to me and I pointed to the button and told Caleigh that "all done" meant that she was finished playing and then we could do something else. She immediately reached up and touched the button....then smiled.

So I'm excited about it. It's more computer like. Less stuck in the stone age.

Now here's some annoying things....
you know there had to be some....

DynaVox doesn't just loan out their devices to try at home. You have to apply for a 30 day trial rental which insurance/medicaid pays for. The stipulation to this is that they start doing the paperwork to purchase while you are doing your trial. I understand they are trying to get the ball rolling, but give us a chance to try it out first.

Purchase price is close to $8000 and can go up depending on options that you buy. We can most likely get insurance/medicaid to purchase a system for Caleigh. The only issue is that you can only get a device funded every 5 years. This is just ridiculous. Think of regular computer and cell phone technology. By the time you buy an electronic device and take it home the company has already come out with something bigger and better. So they expect our kiddos to use a device for 5 years! Not cool.

Another issue I have is that it is a total Windows based system. It's a touch screen Windows computer basically. This means that you can get viruses and all the other wonderful Microsoft based yuckies. When I saw that grassy field with the blue sky I cringed. We run a total Mac household over here. So I'm totally biased. Adding this device would mean that I would have to buy some expensive software so that I can edit pages on the computer. It's complicated and I don't have time for it.

The device has a 1 year warranty included. PRC has a 2 year warranty. After that you have to buy the extended warranty, unless you love to live on the wild side, and that will cost us $1100 bucks a year. So in the 5 years that we would own the device...that's $4400 in warranty money by the time we are done with the box.

Even though there are issues with the DynaVox, the system worked much better for Caleigh physically. It's definitely ahead in the race.

Next on the list of devices to try is the iPad running Proloque2Go. This may or may not work because Caleigh needs to use a keyguard to make her choices. We'll just have to see how sensitive the iPad is.
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