Out of this world

Claire uses an Eco2 with EcoPoint to speak. She has had it for just over a year. Over the last few months her use of the device has really blown up so to speak. Her communication with it is less frustrating for her, she is less fatigued after using it and the people around her have gotten better at implementing it. I have seen a lot of talk in the rett community about page sets and different set up options for the various talkers that the girls use. We have found that the best option at this time is to stick with the Unity language that PRC has for it’s devices. The icons are very strange to most adults who have to learn it and at first glance the organization seems odd. But Claire took well to it, so we have stuck with the 45-sequenced for her page set for the last year and I am so thrilled that we have. For the last week, she has been going to her school tab, then to science, where she then says moon and planet over and over and over again. It has been so incredibly annoying. Then came father’s day. At the end of school she had brought home a wrapped gift for Jared and we opened it this weekend. As soon as it was unwrapped, we turned to Claire to ask her if that is what she meant with all of the moon/planet talk, she lit up. She was so proud of herself for saying what was on her mind, even if we didn’t understand and when we did get it, it was clear that she felt validated. It was one of many, small moments that made the year of trial and paperwork to get the device as well as the year that it has taken to learn the language completely worth it. So to those of you who are on your way to a talker I really want to encourage you. It takes what feels like an eternity, the circus tricks that you have to perform to get the device are ridiculous and could easily lead one to give up hope and stop trying, but please don’t. When you are least expecting it, she will use it in a way to communicate that you hadn’t dreamed of her using it before. Especially when it is spontaneous and you are not looking for it, that is when she blow you away. My two other cents: I love PRC and Unity, it is the access to the typical words that we use every day that have most allowed Claire to talk about the things that she wants to talk about. If she was using page sets full of words and things we already knew she wanted to talk about, how could she ever surprise us with the stuff we didn’t know about her. If you are still in the trial phase, look into PRC, for whatever reason they get less press, but it is an amazing way to give communication to the girls.

3 thoughts on “Out of this world

  1. I'm thrilled your daughter has a way to express herself. Unity is hands down my favorite language access software. The possibilities for self-expression are tremendous. I would like to see more kids have a chance to try it, but I think their adults get overwhelmed by the thought of learning it (which is actually quite simple…and it sure is less motor-demanding than a page-based system).

    How do you find the eye gaze technology to work? We are trying an updated unit next week and crossing our fingers it will accommodate movement better than the earlier version we tried. I want my daughter to be able to access Unity…because a language software is only as good as the access you have for it.

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