Xeth: Full Participation Enabled Through Technology
Xeth is in grade 5 at Westview Elementary and growing so fast! For now, he likes going to school, playing videogames, music, and hanging out with his friends. Watching Xeth use his technology is amazing. Xeth is an Accent 1000 user, and he has been communicating using the Unity 80 sequenced vocabulary for a few years now. Additionally, he can connect the Accent to a Surface Pro computer. This allows him to complete learning tasks using Clicker 8 as well as do some coding using Scratch.
Xeth has complex needs and is unable to fully communicate verbally. Learning AAC has been a learning process for everyone. His team of his speech therapists, educators and parents are all on board, encouraging him to use his devices to speak and learn. Using the keyboard on his Accent, the BJOY mouse, and Clicker 8 on a computer, his teacher and EAs have found “just right” Clicker Sets that allow Xeth to learn new vocabulary, read simple books and practice math. Xeth controls the computer using the BJOY Hand joystick. With very slight finger movements, he is able to move the mouse cursor in all directions. Presently, he is learning to recognize numbers and the voice feedback in both the Accent and Clicker help him to know if he is on the right track. Because Xeth’s fine motor challenges makes it difficult to select icons, the Accent has a keyguard attached to the screen. The keyguard guides his fingers to the button he wants and reduces the chances of a miscommunication.
Xeth plays the mallets and the xylophone in the school band. Learning how to use his technology is similar to how Xeth is learning music. He didn’t just pick up the mallets and start to play – he learns by being exposed to music, having a teacher to show him how to play the instruments, and watching other kids play. When he first started with AAC, Xeth was just saying single words. His whole team has spent a lot of time doing the necessary modeling needed to teach Xeth his new way of communicating and make it personal. His educators create and select resources needed to teach Xeth the motor plan for new and harder aspects of language, such as plurals and full sentences.
The whole class benefits from the equipment and training SET-BC has provided. Xeth and his classroom teacher project the Clicker sets from his computer for the whole class to be able to read books, review content, and grow their knowledge. Xeth and his team are loving learning!