Dayton is a gregarious student, in Mr. Hornby’s energetic grade 2 class at Cinnabar Elementary School in Nanaimo, BC. Dayton was born with a yet undiagnosed condition that manifests itself as a significant delay in fine and gross-motor skills and severe apraxia of speech. Despite these challenges, Dayton was a lively communicator with an inquisitive mind who used some words, gestures, signs and body language effectively to get basic messages across. He also used a Springboard Lite from Sunnyhill but he was outgrowing this communication system quickly. Dayton’s team was looking for a light-weight and easily portable device such as an iPad and with the arrival of the AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) app LAMP Words for Life, the perfect solution was found. This app uses the PRC Unity language system with Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) principles and strategies. The LAMP Words for Life app is symbol based for the emerging reader and writer. The symbols are paired with text to support literacy development.
In February 2013, Madeleine Ware-Jud, the Speech and Language Pathologist, put in a referral to SET BC for an iPad and the LAMP Word for Life app. Within a month of receiving it, Dayton was skillfully using LAMP to communicate more complex thoughts and ideas. He is composing grammatically correct sentences, and it didn’t take him long to know ‘wordfinder’, and ask Madeleine to customize vocabulary for him. Madeleine stated that Dayton is doing ‘Simply amazing’. When asked why he likes his iPad, Dayton created the following sentences with LAMP:
- I can talk.
- I can write stories.
- I can play games.
It takes a dedicated team for Dayton to reach his full potential. Maureen LaFleche, the SET-BC consultant, demonstrated how sentences created in LAMP can be copied and pasted into word processing and story apps such as ‘Storymaker’. The sentences then can be illustrated by using the built in camera, choosing pictures from the internet, or drawing one’s own picture. Dayton’s mom Carrie-Anne uses this app to document important events at home which Dayton shares with great enthusiasm with his teacher and classmates.
Kim Van Straten, Dayton’s Educational Assistant, ensures that the available technology is used in the classroom so that Dayton can meet his curriculum learning goals and objectives since Dayton not only uses LAMP but also his SET-BC laptop with Clicker 6 and Classroom Suite to support his literacy skills. Gracie, his friend was working with him the other day and he composed the sentence, “I like talking with friends,” and then navigated to the page with pictures of his friends and selected Gracie’s picture. They both thought this was pretty great and laughed.
LAMP is opening up the world of language for Dayton. He has a lot to contribute, and as his skills grow, he will have the means to communicate what he is thinking. Technology has provided Dayton with a voice and a pen. This is only the beginning! Stay tuned for Dayton’s next story!