Made of Gray

iPad + Proloquo2Go, 1 Month Update

Holly D Gray16 Comments
It's been one month since Caleigh started using the iPad. It's been even more amazing for her than I could have imagined. She's a happier kid. Her tendency to scream and cry when she wants a transition are all but gone now.

A couple of weeks back we were at OT. Caleigh was using her iPad and asking for her stuffed dog Violet (her fave). She played with her for a minute. We sat Violet down and moved on to the next activity. Caleigh loudly said "Caaa." The OT looked at me, I looked at her. We started thinking of 'ca' words. I decided she was trying to say 'car.' We get the iPad back in front of Caleigh and ask her "Caleigh were you trying to say car?" Caleigh tells us "no" using Proloquo2Go. And then it hits me...Violet is a Leap Frog toy that can be programmed with your child's name. It says Caleigh (even pronounces it correctly) and sings songs using her name. So we ask her "were you saying your name, Caleigh, like Violet does?" She moves her way to the yes button and chooses it. I started crying. Literally. It felt like a break through.

About 6 months ago I had a speech therapist tell me that yes/no questions were too advanced for Caleigh. I don't think so.

We had the screen set on 4 big square choices and last week I got the bright idea to change the set up. I made the squares smaller. It comes out to 10 squares on the screen. I left most of them blank and continued with the choices that were on the 4 squares. We used the device that way for about 4 days when I realized Caleigh's enthusiasm for the the iPad was dwindling. So we sat down and I asked her if she wanted me to change back to the 4 large squares. She chose "yes." I asked her if the smaller squares were harder for her to use. She chose "yes." That afternoon I moved it back to the 4 squares and Caleigh has been interested and doing well again.

Here's a video of Caleigh telling me many things. She occasionally makes an accidental choice but immediately goes back and tries again until she gets what she wants. Usually she just tells me one thing at a time so this is something new. At the end of the video you can see that she says "I want to stop." That's her way of telling me that she is done talking.

It's come to my attention that Caleigh's YouTube videos with her using Proloquo2Go on the iPad (which we are now calling Caleigh's Talker) are just about the only ones out there. Especially for a kiddo with Cerebral Palsy.

I get emails everyday asking questions. I've talked to several moms all across the country. It's funny to me because I just did it. I went out, got an iPad and started using it with Caleigh. I have NO formal speech training and definitely NO augmentative communication training. I'm an Art chick. I'm pretty sure I took the leap of faith because I didn't have a speech therapist whispering in my ear about what they believe are Caleigh's abilities and what they will be in the future. Since January we have been without speech therapy. During that time we trialed several devices. I made a couple of my own systems and in the end decided on the iPad. So I'm not an expert, just a mom. I know what works for Caleigh and that's it. To be completely honest, Caleigh is the one that has made it easy. She's smart and picked up on it immediately. If that wasn't the case, I'm not sure I would be bragging so much. I'm glad that Caleigh's progress can help so many kiddos like her.

The comments are open below this post. If you have any questions about the iPad and what we are doing with Caleigh please ask away. I'll compile them in a future post if I get enough.
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