Utter Autism

December 20, 2007

Speak Up

We keep our Dynavox V in a central location so Adrian doesn’t have to lug it around the house in order for us to hear him.  It works out beautifully, usually….

I was in a different part of the house the other day working on my Christmas wrapping when I faintly heard Adrian requesting a bagel on his machine.  I was in the middle of a wrap so I didn’t go to respond immediately. 

Apparently Adrian thought I hadn’t heard him because he proceeded to go into his music page to use the button to increase the volume and then went back to repeat his request with his loud voice. 

Very cool! 🙂

December 11, 2007

It’s History

I wrote a while back about Adrian’s journal pages.  We’ve continued to have him type out sentences both here at home and at school.  I don’t know what they’re experiencing at school, but I find it hard to put words to our experiences here at home.  To say that Adrian is thrilled about this activity might be an understatement.  When I bring out the notebook that I’ve been slowly filling with words/icons, he laughs and giggles and gets all excited.  He loves being able to write out, word by word, his thoughts.

Ok, so maybe it’s not exactly all his thoughts.  But here at home, he chooses the topic from among the words/icons I’ve provided him in the notebook.  I then do my best to piece together a sentence that I believe expresses what he probably wants to say.

Today he choose the Christmas tree and decorations.  Adrian loves Christmas trees.  And he absolutely adores putting on the decorations.  So I pieced together two sentences. 

We put up our Christmas tree. I like to put on the decorations.

He was so excited about typing the sentences out, he could hardly contain himself.  It’s such a thrill for me to see him enjoy expressing himself this way. 

But the most recent change to the programming in the journal makes the whole experience take on a whole new meaning.  I wanted to give Adrian a way to go back and look at what he’d written in the past.  I had some trouble finding a way to automate the retrieval of the files… but I’ve finally worked out a solution. 

Journal Calendar

To save or load a journal entry, the new program takes him to a calendar page.  Here he can save a new entry under the correct date or push the button for a date to retrieve that day’s entry.  He’ll still need some guidance in identifying the date that a file should be saved in (a great way to work on those calendar skills in a functional way) but in the end I hope he’ll be able to use it independently.

Tonight Adrian pulled out the ‘elevator’ icon from the notebook.  We’d written an entry about using the elevator at the mall about a month ago.  I was able to show him how to retrieve that entry by going back a month and pushing the date.  He sat and listened to it over and over, laughing the whole time.  Now Adrian has history.

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