Tuesday, October 11, 2011

iSam N.

Ah...how I often change things up. I'm the Tim Lincecum of blogging.

I'll pause while you Google that.

You back?


I started off today with Luke S.'s iPost. But since Kelly, Luke's Mom, does not blog, I began to write. I must be in a writing mood, cause the thing became a volume, and started become something of a 'conclusion'.

Can't have that.

SO...I figured I would hold off, since I had so much to say in it, and go with the other two iPosts first, since both parents are are already bloggers themselves, and they said it all already!

Let's first go with Emma, who writes Living on the Spectrum about her son, Sam.

I started this post at 4 this morning after yet another sleepless night. For some reason, the magic cocktail that had Sam sleeping for the majority of the night stopped working a couple of days ago. But that is the subject of another post.

When I saw that Sam was number 19 on a list of 20 at the Mission: iPossible site, I really thought it would be a year or more before enough funds were raised to purchase his ipad. What has happened over the past few months has been amazing to watch.

I got an email from Ken, one of the people in charge of Mission: iPossible, earlier in the week letting me know that Sam's iPad was on the way. Since I am a teacher, I was home for the Jewish New Year and I was able to watch for the mail. Friday at 11, this box was on my front step. My mailman was a little lax with the signature required issue (although to be be fair he could probably hear the dog going nuts and me yelling at her so he knew I was home).

Is that the most neatly wrapped box you have ever seen?

I started to open it up while Sam was with one of his home therapists. I had to move from place to place as I opened because I knew Maya would go bananas when she realized what was inside. To my surprise, as I pulled apart the layers of bubble wrap, I found a bag of little toys and this little guy. That's a Dream Date Gonzo in case you can't tell (What are you trying to say, Ken?).

Then I pulled out this:

Seriously, the wrapping job was amazing. Neat tape, perfect corners, no wrinkles. I distracted Sam when therapy was over by leaving the shipping box out. This is Sam balancing it on the edge of the table. He is gearing up to watch it drop again and again and again and again...

I left the bubble wrap on the floor to see how long it would take the kids to discover it.

30 seconds.

While they popped bubbles I took a look at this. I didn't try to get Sam to unwrap it. He CAN rip paper but he doesn't understand the meaning of a present and won't attend to the task.

Over the course of the afternoon I set up the iPad with simple apps. One of Sam's home therapists has her own and so I already knew a few things that were worth getting. Maya ended up being the first to play with it because there was a crazy 3 kids yelling at me all at once moment and it gave her something to do for a while.

Sam didn't really "get" it when I showed him that we have our own iPad now. I felt a tiny twinge of jealousy each time I read an "iPost" detailing a kid's enthusiasm over the new device. For us this is going to be a way to try to focus his attention and, hopefully, communicate. I would LOVE it if Sam could develop some recreation skills but I think it is unlikely. When I sit him down, Sam can do simple shape puzzles and discrete trial programs. We are working up to investing in the big guns - Proloquo2go. What is amazing is that the kid who had to be taught to point with his pointer finger in early intervention understood the concept of the touch ]screen right away.

Is this an instant game changer for Sam? No. But I see a lot of possibilities (Ipossibilities? Too corny?) The iPad is an amazing teaching tool that will allow us to work where ever we are without lugging tons of supplies. Hopefully, once we get speech software and Sam is able to hear the iPad speak for him he will find that motivating and appreciate it even more.

I am trying not to drip my wet hair on the iPad.

Here is Sam doing a shape puzzle ( no pieces to throw or eat!!!):

Here he is doing a discrete trial program for color identification (bonus-no flashcards for Sam to fold and chew):

My deep heartfelt thanks to the people at Mission: iPossible and the community of donors without whom this gift would not have been possible.


On behalf of:
The Mission: iPossible! Group

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