Assistive technology

Just a quick post tonight because I’m exhausted and need to rest up for my date with Harry, Ron, and Hermione (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One for anyone who might be living under a rock…sorry, but it’s true!) in 12 hours! It’s actually really sad that this era is officially going to be coming to a close soon. ūüė¶

Anyway, tonight we went on a field trip to the New England Assistive Technology (NEAT) Center for my Rehabilitation class. The center deals with all sorts of assistive technology; from car and home modifications, to wheelchairs/walkers/crutches, to high tech stuff like computer mouses (mice?) controlled by your feet and A LOT of apps on the i-pad and i-touch for speech, voice recognition, etc.

One of the¬†technologies we got to talk a lot about and play with was the new¬†Proloquo2go¬†app for the i-pad. This is a¬†augmentive communication app¬†that can say a variety of things just by a person touching a picture or word. Sorry, that was an incredibly simplistic¬†way of describing that, but hopefully you get it. I was SO SO¬†SO excited to hear the women at the center talk about this app because it’s something that Ellen over at Love That Max, who I’ve blogged about as being one of my blogging idols, has¬†talked about.¬† NOTE: the other idol being my cousin, friend, and all around amazing human, Jen¬†at Marvelously Comical. Check her out too! You won’t be disappointed! If you read this, sorry, I had to! ūüôā )¬† Anyway, back to the app. I’ve seen videos of¬†Ellen’s¬†son Max using it to communicate¬†a thought and get so excited over doing so! ūüôā It was a really cool moment, for lack of a better world, to tie tonight back to something from my blog family.¬†You can check out a video of¬†Max using his i-pad here and here! Pretty sure you’d be hard¬†pressed to find someone not smiling after watching this!!¬†

It’s so amazing and inspiring to see all the new technologies that are coming out for kids and adults with special needs! They are all so useful in daily life, and also in encouraging development of new skills and abilities.


First of all, this post was inspired by Ellen over at Love That Max. I’m not sure if I’ve talked about Ellen before, but she’s mom to Max, a wonderful 7 year old with CP. She is an amazing mom and all she does for her children definitely shows through her writing! Ellen’s blog was the first I followed and I’m simply addicted to it! Check it out and I’m sure you will be too! Her blog really inspired me to put everything out there in each of my posts, because you just never know who might stumble upon it one day. THANK YOU ELLEN! ūüôā

This week is Babies Week on Discovery Health Channel, and they are premiering a new show called NICU following 3 top Neonatal Intensive Care units in the country. This show is pretty exciting for those of us in the special needs community, because it showcases the beginnings of life which so many of us have experience with (preemies, trauma at birth, etc.) I invite you all to read Ellen’s post about the NICU experience and the connection we all share before continuing on with my post here, because I can’t do it justice…

Did you finish reading yet??

Really, I meant it, go read the post.

Okay, you should be done now! This post really touched me, for the obvious reasons, and because everything that Ellen talked about knowing as a mother of a child with special needs, I can say I have also felt or known growing up with CP. This is what I said in response to Ellen’s post. I don’t think I could say it this way if I tried it again, so I’m just going to paste it in.

I know that a lot of parents read this blog, so on a post that touches so many of you, I thought maybe I’d share a “child’s” perspective…I’m not a parent of a child with special needs. I am a child with special needs. Well, more an adult now, but every one of those things you mentioned that you know as a parent of a child with CP, I can honestly say I know each of those too, having CP. It’s obviously very different for a parent than it is for a child. I don’t remember a lot of what would have probably been the “tougher” times for my parents, but I do remember my own thoughts of doctors visits, surgeries, etc. They are tough, they effect a child’s life, but I’m here to assure you…your child is strong and will make it through each of them as they are meant to.I know what you mean about always feeling that empathy for preemies even though Max was not a preemie. I was a preemie (born at 24 weeks), so I too have that connection. For me, that empathy comes more from seeing my own experiences possibly play out in the life of another child, experiences that I have no recollection of and that I will probably never have the courage to ask my parents honest questions about. Now that I am an adult, that empathetic connection comes in the form of thinking about preemies now, the technology that medicine has to give them such a great shot at high quality of life. And it also comes in the form of thinking about my own children I someday hope to have. Will I have a preemie child myself, will I watch them struggle in some of the same ways I have, or–perhaps even more strongly weighing on my heart–will I be upset and even slightly jealous if my child learns to walk within their first year of life, while I am still trying at age 22, will they surpass their own mom in milestones?I don’t know what so many of you face daily as parents of children with special needs, but I do know we are all connected–parent and child alike, and you can bet I’ll be DVRing and watching along with all of you in my community tonight!

I hope you all tune in, or DVR the premeire tonight on Discovery Health at 10 PM ET and PT.
Oh, and, Ellen said I should be a guest poster on her blog, which is pretty darn exciting!! ūüôā