If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, then you know that since around June of 2011 I’ve been slowly (the speed of a snail to be exact) teaching Charlie how to read and communicate. We started with giant flashcards and then gradually moved over to his iPad. It’s still very low on his list of things to do, but we regularly sit down in the evenings and review his day and I’ll ask him a few questions.
I’ve gotten so used to the this little ritual that I’ll mention to his teachers from time to time things that he’s “told” me.
One day his teacher asked me if I could bring the iPad to school and show her how Charlie “talks” to me.
I’ll admit that my expectations were pretty low. I’ve heard of other parents trying to show off their children’s skills and not getting very far. But why not give it a shot, right?
I guess I wasn’t paying attention because the day I got there I realized that this was kind of an important meeting. A woman from the augmentative communication department came with her own iPad, I had mine, and Charlie was there with his teacher and probably two of the classroom aides! Quite a crew.
Well, Charlie did his thing. He answered yes and no questions using the four square on ProloQuo, he spelled the name of a few videos he’d like to listen to, he swiped through some musical selections. I even let teacher hold his hand, so she could see that he was moving it, and not me. She could tell! At one point he was typing something and I didn’t know what he was asking, but the evaluator figured it out! Actual communication with a stranger, y’all!
In the end, the evaluator said she is going to recommend that the classroom be issued a Dynavox with capabilities similar to the iPad. She thinks it will be a little easier for him to navigate. We still have to wait and see what the “staffing” meeting decides, but hey! I think this is going better than expected.