Thomas is a happy kindergarten boy with a smile that lights up the room. He is very popular with his classmates and is included in all activities. It is tricky for Thomas to talk. He can say “yes” and “no” and uses eye contact and body movements to help others understand him. Thomas is not able to walk and has limited use of his hands but he is very persistent and likes to do things all on his own.
He loves center time and always has a group of friends with him in the same center. The kids are great at understanding him and creating imaginative play that includes Thomas. He especially loves the “Doctor” and the “Furry Friends” centers.
Thomas immediately fell in love with his loaned equipment from SET-BC, an iPad with the software TouchChat. He is happy to have words that others can understand and is able to request the colour of his daily kerchief, he is able to request materials during art but his favourite time to use the iPad as a communication aid is during center time!
For example, with programmed dialogue for the Doctor center, Thomas is able to be either the patient or the doctor. He loves it! And he even acts out the illness symptoms which correspond to the TouchChat message.
His friends are great at giving Thomas time to select the TouchChat buttons. The iPad is Thomas’ voice!
His Kindergarten and Grade One friends reflect on what the technology has meant to Thomas:
- “Thomas picks colours with it.”
- “It’s a good idea for when he’s talking in centers.”
- “I like knowing what Thomas is thinking.”
- “I wish he could use it all day to talk.”
His team, Deanna Powell (Kindergarten Teacher), Karin Smith (SLP), and Nadine Korven (SET-BC Consultant) is excited about adding new vocabulary to the TouchChat app for new activities and goals in the months ahead.
To learn more about the technology used in this SETstory, search for it by name in learningSET.