Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Most Fun Appointment Ever

 Another forgotten blog post and this was from last year. There's an update at the end.


Cameron's Ipad and Ipod
The Most Fun Appointment Ever is what I think Cameron would have called our appointment at the Independent Learning Centre.

Cameron has days when he is really switched on and performing and this was one of those days. I think the good mood started from being allowed to sleep in for an extra hour and then getting to hang out with mum instead of getting in the car with MMM and MLA for the trip across the river. He really enjoyed the trip to the ILC and pointed out cars to me in the traffic jam - apparently I couldn't see them.

In true Cameron style he introduced himself to all the reception desk staff and then settled back with a magazine which he read upside down at lightning speed without looking, as he does.  Fairly quickly we were joined by our consultant and two students. Surprisingly Cameron didn't worry too much about the students although I caught him having a look from time to time.

We walked into the room which had computers and technology set up and we all sat down in the middle of the room. Up to this point everything was normal - then Cameron proceeded to take off his shoes. Yes, you read that right. Can you picture my look of shock and then laughter. He refused to put them back on and instead spent most of the appointment trying to tuck his legs up onto his seat as you would if you were lounging at home watching a movie.

Then the fun began. We were there to discuss communication devices and apps for Cameron. He has progressed so much that we can now see him using a communication method effectively unlike in the past when he played with them. Technology has progressed so dramatically in the last few years that  lots of old devices that were large and clunky have been replaced by ipads and similar devices.

Our consultant was fantastic with Cameron and always asked him every question and Cameron responded by head noddling or saying yes or no and he was very reliable in his responses. We discussed his ipad and how he uses it, his ipod and how we use that and what we want for his future, which is for Cameron to be able to request what he needs but also to be able to have social conversations with people. Up to this point we have only used technology for him to request his needs. She then showed us her ipad and Cameron's eyes lit up. She demonstrated an app we trialed before called Prologuo2go which I had hated and showed me how the developers had improved it and addressed most of the issues I had with it. She then created a page just for Cameron so he could introduce himself. He loved it.

She let Cameron have her ipad and he had watched what she had done and very quickly introduced himself and then pressed the next icon she had made for him saying that he liked his ipad. We continued to talk and Cameron started exploring her ipad. He went in and out of  apps, some of them familiar to my ears. Then she showed us the mini ipad which is halfway between an ipod and ipad in size. The mini ipad has become very popular for communication because the screen is larger than an ipod and the device is not as big as an ipad to carry around.

Lastly we looked at the Samsung device which has another name which I have forgotten. Basically they have two sizes equivalent to the ipod and mini ipad with a solid case and handle and speakers at the back. They were quite heavy and cumbersome compared to the ipod and ipads. If you had an issue with hearing then the speakers would be helpful but we haven't found that to be an issue with either the ipod or the ipad for us.

Cameron got to have a play on the mini ipad and the two Samsung devices too. He really was in heaven.

After much discussion and contemplation it was decided that we will trial Prologuo2go again in it's new version and all going well we will put in a funding application for it on a mini ipad with a protective cover since this device will be out and about all over the place. This is the last year that Cameron can apply for funding because he leaves school at the end of the year so now is the time to get moving.


Cameron's Communication Mini Ipad
An update - Following the trial Cameron was funded by Rocky Bay for a mini ipad with a Griffin Survivor cover and Prologuo2go for communication. The purpose of this was to give Cameron a way to have social conversation. We set up pages so he can share his life with others.
He used his communication ipad at school during his final term successfully and we attempted to use it with family and friends but Cameron tended to get very embarrassed when we suggested he use it. We have given him a break and now we are introducing it with his carers at Dadaa and hopefully with a fresh start he will find it a valuable tool to share his day to day life with everyone that he would like to talk to. Eventually we hope to also add pages so he can make requests and express his feelings more successfully. Stay tuned for updates.

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