Destiny is a 12 year old student with many interests and a great deal to say! She has tried a number of communication systems over the years and is now experiencing great success using an iTouch with Proloquo2Go. She has severe Dyspraxia of Speech, a developmental disability, that affects her ability to plan and program her speech movements. Despite this condition Destiny is always trying to verbalize, however her speech can be difficult to understand, especially for people not familiar with her. This can lead to frustration and emotional breakdowns.
Various interventions have been tried with Destiny including signing, gesturing, drawing and spelling and a high level of one to one adult support in order for her to participate in class. She is on a modified academic program and has received service from SET BC since 2006 when she was provided with her first AAC device, a Springboard. It met some of her inclusion needs, however did not give her the social communication she so desires.
Three years later she was provided with a Dynavox Tango which she would willingly use in a practice environment, however she would not use the device at all in her regular day partly due to the bulk and weight. At this time the team was again looking for a more portable, user friendly communication system so in 2010 she was provided with an iPod Touch with the program Proloquo2go.
The goal in introducing this new communication system was to increase her ability to communicate with peers and adults by 75% when stuck on a word or phrase and to express an idea, feeling or phrase when unintelligible by speech. The team felt that the iPod Touch with the Proloquo2go would be a very portable solution, and, as Destiny is approaching her teenage years, she is very conscious of fitting in with her peers. It was felt that the iTouch would support her communication and social goals effectively.
Destiny is now using her Proloquo2Go for various activities during the school day. She enjoys introducing herself and telling others about herself, friends, family, pets and interests, such as baseball! She is now able to communicate things she cannot articulate. She uses the easily programmed screens as a visual prompt when she is working on her articulation program developed by her SLP and this has had the added benefit of increasing her familiarization with Proloquo2Go, and teaching her where to find high frequency words. She is also using it to type in and listen to a word that she cannot read, using iCal and the Notes feature to support both her daily organization and weekly activities.
Overall Destiny and the learning team feel that the iTouch has been the most successful device tried with Destiny to date – she has fully embraced it and also uses it to take photos and store her music collection, this is an added bonus and opens up more opportunities for her to share and initiate conversations, with both adults and her peers. The implementation of this solution has required a lot of careful planning and a team approach for all those working with Destiny, especially her wonderful supportive family, and they are committed to continue working with her to help find the best possible fit – Destiny continues to grow and gain more confidence using the device as a tool and continues to improve and develop her own ability to speak.
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