“It’s so exciting to see a whole new world opening up for him.”
We heard on TV about a software program that was having success at stimulating speech in autistic children. We really wanted to get an iPad so that we could have that program to help Cody’s vocabulary. Now we have it, thanks to the Inclusive Kids grant program. But what we have received from the grant is much more than an iPad and software. The impact on my son’s life and on the family has been huge.
It has been like a springboard for his vocabulary. We would have had to save for some time to buy it ourselves. But with the help of the grant the iPad and the software program Proloquo2go came at just the right time in terms of Cody’s brain development and readiness to learn. Before Christmas he only knew about 20 words and now he knows over 100 and much of this improvement is to do with the iPad and the programs on it. I still spend time with him one-on-one with other games and toys, encouraging him to talk, but not as much as before.
Cody is gaining some autonomy as a result of having the program. We use it as an educative tool, yet he is motivated to use it and he is engaged with the effects he gets when he says some words to the characters and the character repeats them back to him. It is something he can interact with that is not directed by mum or dad. He has choice and control over what he does and the responses he gets.
Cody is also now gaining self-esteem. He can do things on the iPad just like his older brother who is his idol. In the arenas of physical activity and speech he is not able to keep up with his older brother. It has helped his older brother too, as I now have a bit more time freed up to spend with him, and he gets to share the iPad with Cody. In these small ways it has helped to alleviate some jealousy experienced by my older son in relation to how much of my time is spent with Cody.
My partner and I are really excited to have the program. Our hopes have risen that Cody will learn to speak, as the program seems to be stimulating a desire to talk. The future looks brighter for him as his attention span has improved and he is learning essential computer skills. He will likely always be weaker in physical and speech skills, but if he can cope with and through computers the world will open up for him.
The iPad is a small thing, but it has been a huge gift to Cody and our family as it has given us improved autonomy, self-esteem, vocabulary, skills and hope. Many thanks go to Inclusive Kids and all the people who have contributed money and time.