Monday, March 31, 2014

Picture and Video Overload

Two posts in less than one week.... crazy I know.

It has been a fabulous week. I have enjoyed my break a little too much and to be quite honest I am not looking forward to going back to class but I will push on! I will keep my eye on the prize and am looking forward to summer and the last break I will have for the next three years.

Makenzie and I along with her nurse and Mr. 12 had a great day on Tuesday. Makenzie has always loved the aquarium so that is where we headed for her special day. She giggled and squealed and spent a lot of time taking it all in. Her favorite exhibit was the sea otters. They were very playful and Makenzie got a kick out of their antics.



It is so much fun to see Makenzie love something so much! There was a day when I didn't know if she would open her eyes let alone turn into such a happy little girl with such an amazing personality!

When we got home I went to the dollar store to pick up a couple of Makenzie's other favorite things...... silly string and a balloon.

We proceeded to have a silly string fight in the middle of the living room and Makenzie played with her balloon so intensely that she broke a sweat. She yelled at that balloon, She laughed as she swung it around.

We finished the day with a trip to Red Robin for dinner with family and Makenzie got her own piece of cheese cake.

 It was an amazing amazing day!

Makenzie has also been working super hard with her talker. Over the years we have tried many different ways for Makenzie to access her talker. She has been successful to a degree with several different access mode but a few weeks ago I pushed to try a method called step scanning. This method requires the use of two different switches. One of the switches is used to move the cursor and the other switch is used to pick the item.

Makenzie's speech therapist and I spent a couple of sessions trying different switch sites and layouts for her talker language. While everything with Makenzie will always be evolving I think we have found something that Makenzie is excited about and completely understands.

Makenzie is using a switch at her knee to move the cursor and a switch behind her elbow to pick her choices. We have limited the amount of exposure Makenzie has because the school is still refusing to talk to me or her private therapist about the step scanning or her vocabulary changes and I do not want Makenzie to get confused and refuse to use her talker at all. This makes me so frustrated because even with limited trials Makenzie is doing so very well.

However, spring break is here for the kids and Makenzie and I are going to work our hinnies off with her talker over the next 5 days. I am done putting off working on this with Makenzie because the school staff can't seem to learn how to use Makenzie's technology or properly train the people who are with her all day. With that said  I have made an executive decision. Makenzie is going to use step scanning period and will not go back to school until the school gets it through their heads that this is what is happening, load Makenzie's current user area onto her talker, and train the staff on how to use step scanning and her talker to say more than just yes and no.

Here is why:

This is an iPad App from helpkidzlearn called Choice Maker 3. It is set up to work with one or two switches. This app allows you to program the pages on the computer and once you save the activity it can be opened in the app and downloaded for immediate use. This afternoon I made five 15 page activities in lest than 2 hours. It is so easy and Makenzie can play these educational activities completely independently!

We are still working on the motor planning necessary to activate two switches at different times for different reasons but the progress that Makenzie has made in such a short time blows me away! We are also using several game apps to help with this also made by helpkidzlearn. This race car game is one of Makenzie's favorites:

This week Makenzie also had her first conversation on Skype with her Granny and PawPaw all by herself. She talked with her talker for nearly 30 minutes. She told her Granny to "come here" which is great because anything Makenzie wants she gets (not really but shhhhhh don't tell her granny and pawpaw!) so they will have to start planning a road trip to come and see her!

Life is good!!!!

Believe.... Prayer Works!!!!


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