Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In Which Li Li Gets A Pretty Palatable New Friend, And Connor Tries Out An iPad

So today went a bit better, I'm happy to say. 

Connor was a total crabby pants, but that may have been because instead of paying attention to him this morning, I was watching our new gerbil (who is as yet unnamed) and our old gerbil (Li Li)attempt to dig through the mesh divider I've set up in their cage so they can happily settle down to the business of fighting to the death, which is what gerbils do when they meet a "stranger."  Vicious little things, gerbils.  At any rate, I'll be rotating which side of the cage their staying on daily until their scents are mixed enough that they stop trying to kill one another and decide to be pals. Supposedly it usually takes about a week, but we'll see.  Signs that they're starting acclimate will include attempting to groom one another through the mesh, sleeping next to one another, and when Li Li quits trying to season our new gerbil with pepper and miniature lemon wedges. 

At any rate, Connor did fine this morning but I believe that the novelty of the new gerbil quickly wore off, and then he wanted to go play something instead of watching me frantically add more wire to the top of the divider to prevent Li Li from climbing over the top in an aerial pursuit of his dinner.  I mean new friend.  Yes.  But for Connor pretty much after 11:00 it was one giant meltdown after another, with a brief hiatus for Speech Therapy, where he did relatively well.  It was probably the gerbil combined with the seizure of yesterday and the fact that he didn't sleep well last night-- he cheered up considerably after his three hour nap late this afternoon.

Julie, our Speech Therapist, brought out a new toy for him to try out today-- an iPad!  They have a number of adaptive applications -- Robert Rummel-Hudson has discussed the topic much more elegantly than I'd probably put it-- and the thought was that Connor was more likely to do well with an iPad than a PECS system because there's less touching and manipulating to do.  We put up a cute little xylophone application for him just to get him used to using his hands to work it, and he caught on really quickly!  I'm pretty stoked; the iPad or another AAC might just end up being a fantastic way for Connor to communicate with those around him that don't understand his Home Signs-- the personal language he's made up with his limited motor skills.  So we're going to see how this goes.

Technology is awesome!


bab006 said...

I have a blog http://babieswithipads.blogspot.com/ and a facebook page about using iPads with children with disabilities. I would love information from your speech therapist about how she uses it. It is so exciting with the toddlers I have tried it with. I have several videos posted. Please give your speech therapist my email at bab006@aol.com and anyone else that has tried it. Thanks.

Julia said...

Ooooh, what an interesting idea! That would be great if it opened up new lines of communication.

And I'm wondering where Li Li procurred the miniature lemon wedges. Presumably from miniature lemons, but I'm not familiar with that varietal.

Tom said...


Let's discuss your wants/needs and I can put together a custom app for you.

Your bro,

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