What an amazing couple of days. Its so amazing to have the iPad as apart of our daily life! It had taken some adjusting this is for certain. We went our day to day attempting to just give Grady what we thought he needed and force him into routines that he didn't know what was happening. Now we have the opportunity to give Grady choices, show him whats ahead and let him have a little more control. Its AMAZING. I absolutely love it. I think the routine that has gone the smoothest since the iPad's arrival is bed. We set up a storyboard on iCommunicate that shows a series of pictures: Daddy and Grady reading a book, the kiss picture, picture of PJ's, bed and then of Mickey Mouse. What used to be a nightly routine of tears and sometimes screams of 30 minutes or longer has settled down to a few moans a few lone tears of less then 5 minutes. I think he knows now what is coming instead of it just being a sudden "Its Time for Bed."
Yesterday I was so blessed to be able to email Grady's speech therapist to let her know that unfortunately we didn't qualify for the free iPad but miraculously by the kindness and love of family and friends we were able to buy one. We had been talking about the possibility of an iPad being the best thing for Grady for a couple of weeks and I let her know about the free program. It was something I would have needed her help applying for. The special ed teachers all recently went to an autistic computer convention that they feel strongly would help Grady if he could use the computer program. The hangup was that Grady couldn't use the mouse. Now that we have an iPad we are hoping the creators of this new autistic program will make it accessible on the iPad. It was so amazing to be able to email his therapist this message. Sigh! So awesome!
Also on a side note: I went to revisit the link to the website that had offered the free iPads to underprivileged families. I was thinking I would post the link on this blog incase anyone else would benefit from applying. I couldn't believe upon entering the site that there was a message up that state "Unfortunately due to the high volume of applicants, we will not be providing any more iPad's and the deadline of December 31st was moved to the beginning of December." So even if I had been able to apply, I wouldn't have made it because of how many people applied. This really increases my drive and desire to attempt to do this for autistic kids in the future. Especially non-verbal kids. I would love to throw another fundraiser next year, maybe an actual bake sale or spaghetti dinner to be able to buy another child an iPad. Its just too amazing of an opportunity to NOT be able to get one for your child.
One thing I love about the iCommunicate is that even though its supposed to be talking FOR Grady, he constantly mimics the words that he uses. Last night for dinner we let him pick out of several options. He picked Fish Sticks and quickly mimicked "Ick icks." lol! Doesn't sound very appetizing but hey! He asked for them and even asked for them again tonight!!! So wonderful! One of my absolute favorite things is know how much he loves to be hugged and kissed. Whenever he is given those options, he will sit there and want to click them over and over. I created the "I Love You" picture tonight and he lit up. Whenever he is unsure of something he is saying he whispers. We whisper all the time to one another. I like to show him that whatever he thinks he is saying isn't wrong or bad! He can say it however he wants! We will figure it out! :o) A couple of times I made out the sound "lub you" which made my heart melt.
Sorry its so dark! :o) Love it! :o) Finally how about a little puzzle talent? Ha ha! I downloaded a few Disney stories and he loves them. Again, sorry its so dark, but we were all snuggled in for the night! :o)