Shane is a keen 15-year old Canucks fan from Chetwynd, BC. As he is non-verbal, over the years, Shane has been using a very limited combination of sign language, picture exchange, and a Tech/Talk for communication exchanges, both at home and within the school setting. Due to his cerebral palsy, his sign language has been adapted and is limited to accommodate the paralysis on his left side. This has made it very difficult to understand his signing, especially when communicating with peers and staff who don’t work closely with him.
This year the team explored several augmentative communication devices to best meet Shane’s needs. The perfect match turned out to be an iPad and the Proloquo2Go app. This solution offers a light weight and portable dynamic display device with many communication options via the various dynamic screens. Shane can navigate through the different screens, choosing the ones that enable him to communicate his wants and needs in a variety of settings.
Shane immediately demonstrated a gift with this device. Until this time in his life he has not had the ability to be able to communicate fully how capable he is and, because of this, may not have been had the opportunities to fully participate socially with peers, and within classroom settings. Shane now has daily opportunities to communicate with classmates and teachers, and has a daily conversation with his Principal, Chris Mason, about his favorite Canucks hockey team.
Here are two recent examples of how the communication device has helped Shane at school:
As he watched his school team members problem solve the set-up of the ProLoquo2Go app, he smiled and reached across the table to touch the words, FEELINGS + FRUSTRATED, then he laughed and pointed to the team. We all had to laugh at his observation and his new found ability to communicate his thoughts to us!
At another time, during a break from team discussion, as his Educational Assistant was complaining of a sore back, Shane reached over and touched the screen: YOU + GO + PHYSIO, then he laughed and pointed to his EA. This device has given the team a much clearer picture of Shane’s cognitive ability as he surprises them with his thoughtful and highly appropriate responses.
While Shane has only just begun to fully use his new communication device, he has already demonstrated a much more sophisticated level of language than he was able to produce through the systems that were in place for him. He is meeting daily with his peers to have conversations, make requests, and perform his daily tasks within the school setting. His iPad and ProLoquo2Go solution has opened a whole new world of communication possibilities for Shane!