Tuesday, 17 January 2012

It's a Day of Double Takes

It has been a day of double takes today. This photo was taken just after the final straw where my mouth dropped open followed by - Sorry.

The kids were asking to have a swim and I went out to see if Cameron really wanted a swim or not. I found him standing around the side of the house with a cricket stump in his hand and My Little Angel riding around him on his bike. I went to take the cricket stump away presuming he was going to hit her and hurt her when I was admonished for doing so. "Don't take it away, I'm waiting for my spray job, Cameron is going to paint my car." Mouth drop open moment.

I quickly apologized and returned the cricket stump to Cameron. I walked back around the house in a daze - my children were playing a game that involved imagination. I don't know what exactly Cameron was doing and whether he understood what he was doing but as far as My Little Angel was concerned I was about to muck up their game.

Earlier in the day I had assisted Cameron to put on dry pull ups again, he is changing his pants quite frequently  some days because he realizes they are wet - Hooray!!!!!! I thought nothing of it and went into the bathroom to find his shorts. I noticed the toilet lid was open and went to close it and that was when it dawned on me that Cameron had been to the toilet independently and done a poo. Wow - he got a huge hug for that. He was very pleased with himself.

We had a visit from our speech therapist today and again her planned program was scrapped because Cameron was further along than she realized. She was interacting with Cameron on his ipad and Cameron was behaving very oddly. I sat back and watched and then left the room to see if my absence would make any difference - it didn't. Cameron was embarrassed.

The speech therapist and I discussed what had happened and she realized that she had simplified her language too low. Cameron was embarrassed by the interaction. We discussed how we communicate with Cameron in our family and we have never lowered our language for Cameron. We speak to him just like everyone else. We include Cameron in all conversations including family discussions. We ask his opinion and discuss our plans with him. It's never occurred to us not to do this, Cameron is part of our family. I sat and chatted with him at lunchtime about how tired he looked and whether he felt tired. Sure, I didn't get much verbal response back but I got smiles and nods, sometimes I get kisses, turned backs and hugs. Sometimes you have to watch Cameron's eyes to guess how Cameron feels.

We have another new plan for speech therapy, this time using his ipad and the communication apps we bought. We are going to set up for Cameron to be able to make his own choices when we visit a cafe for morning or afternoon tea. This is one time when I feel so frustrated because we impose on Cameron what he is going to eat or drink if he isn't able to let us know his preference. Imagine if you really wanted a chocolate milkshake and you were given banana - I always feel bad.

The ipad has revolutionized the communication world for people who are non verbal.  Instead of spending hundred and hundreds of dollars on very restrictive and bulky communication devices we have one device with an app which we got on sale but which would normally cost $50 and with that one app you can take photos and create storyboards, choice boards and picture boards so somebody can express themselves, make choices and understand what is going to happen. With a little research tonight I have learnt that I could create a choice board for Cameron right there in the shop. It may take me a while to get that good but it's possible and really not that complicated. Not all apps are equal so between the couple of communication apps I purchased and the free ones I found we should be set to give Cameron a way of communicating, if he can get his head around the idea - fingers crossed.


  1. this is brilliant yet again Jane! Finn uses a app called mychoicepad which uses makaton symbols, but it also can give you the line drawing to learn the signs too, but you set up grids that would be useful, like... school then they touch and make sentences. Since his speech has got better we have not used it as much, but it has potential to open the world for so many children.

  2. I'll have to remember that app Katie. At the moment I think it will be too complicated for Cameron but fingers crossed we will get there. That's exciting that Finn's speech has improved so much that you don't use it as much - brilliant.

    I knew you'd be pleased Vicki - you helped buy this app.

  3. Your boy is doing well. Isn't it great that no matter what age, our kids just continue to progress... Lovely post, Jane.

  4. The plasticity of the brain is a wonderful thing.

  5. Aww Jane that's great. You must be over tje moon with how much Cameron is coming on xx

  6. Love the story of Cameron interacting with your daughter, just brilliant! As always Jane, a really positive blog and well done Cam in the toilet!

  7. I am just loving reading about how well Cameron is doing at the moment. It must be a very exciting time in your house right now.

    I was just wondering what the name of the app is you were talking about, i think it would be very useful with Jesse.

  8. Sarah - the app is called ICommunicate and it costs around $50-$60. I got it on sale for about $30. If you read the post I wrote tonight you'll see I made a choice board. I had no idea what I was doing but between MMM and myself we made a board in about 5 mins and I reckon you could make one in 1 min if you knew what you were doing. This is going to change our lives.

    It's really nice being able to share our exciting news with you all. Thanks for the support.

  9. Thanx Jane, we just have to figure out a way to save the money for an iPad now.

  10. Goodluck Sarah - I hope you can figure a way to buy an iPad. We had good fortune blow our way for Cameron's ipad purchase, hopefully some of our luck will blow your way.