Skip to main content

The best $9.99 I ever spent

I used to think that the best way to spend $10 was to buy cider donuts fresh from the farm. But today, something else gave cider donuts a run for the money.

Evie's NOVA Chat, or augmentative communication device, decided to go kaput today. The sound worked, but the screen was dead.  I called Technical Support, but it was confirmed that the device would have to be sent to Texas to be repaired.  Insert crying emoji.

I didn't realize how big of a deal this was until Evie sat at the dinner table and started looking around for her NOVA Chat.  She wanted to tell me something, and couldn't. I tried to guess. This amounted to further frustration, which culminated in lots of yelling from Evie.  I told her to use her inside voice, but I was just as frustrated as she was when I couldn't understand what she needed.  Dinner took a very long time. She didn't even want a hug.

I went on the Saltillo website and printed the "low tech"version, which are PDF's of core words.  I showed her the pictures, and she really tried, but when she pressed a button that was supposed to trigger a new screen, she couldn't understand why the paper didn't change like a computer screen.
More frustrated roaring and yelling ensued. (Did I mention that people with Down Syndrome are NOT always happy?)

By the time dinner was over, we were both roaring at each other.  Even though we had just read "Dinos Don't Yell" this morning.

And then...I desperately googled Augmentative Communication apps.  There are a ton out there. And they all look different. If I didn't find the exact same setup, Evie would get frustrated in a different way.  The iPad version of Evie's vocal set, called "Word Power 60," is usually $300.00.  I didn't feel like spending that much money for a temporary fix, but they have a lite version for $9.99.   I thought $10 was worth it for 3 days of sanity, so I downloaded it.

Saltillo Touch Chat Lite


As soon as I showed Evie the screen on her iPad, it was like a different girl was in the room.  Evie instantly lit up, started saying all the things she had been wanting to say, and started exploring the different pictures that the iPad version had.  I am still stunned by the transformation as she regained her "voice" and was able to interact with me.



This lite version does not have the sound, but she is able to tell me what she wants to say as I read the screen.  THANK YOU, SALTILLO, for making a lite version so that my daughter and I don't go insane from frustration.   This further confirms that I prefer Apple products more than Androids, but that's for another blog post.  I am still wondering if I've created a monster by combining a source of entertainment with a source of communication, but I think the benefit outweighs the risk.

Being a special needs mom definitely stretches my brain and patience, but I still wouldn't trade her for anything.  She has a lot to offer, and just needs a voice.

If you haven't seen it yet, take a look at this movie that was made by MIT to be shown at the United Nations for World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, 2019.  Evie makes an appearance a couple times! Keep watching to hear her giggle! https://vimeo.com/325722356 (password: MIT).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Repost with a giveaway! From Straitjacket to Starfish: A Shark Tank win

Update:   Hi all, I am doing my first giveaway! If you read my blog post the other day on the miraculous Zipadee Zip, then you know how this thing has changed our lives as parents.  The makers of Zipadee Zip liked my review so much, that they offered to help me do a giveaway. All you have to do is 1) "Like" their Zipadee Zip Facebook page and 2) leave a comment about why you could use a free Zipadee Zip on this post! The contest begins Wednesday, May 27 at 12:00 AM and ends on Sunday, May 31 at 12:00 AM.  Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway  ------------------------------------------------------------ Original post: There was a point in time when I was just proud I could swaddle teeny tiny Evie with a hospital blanket. Then she came home and started busting out of the blankets, and woke herself up all the time. Her arms flailed and her legs kicked while she was sleeping, which of course woke her up. But then she got bigger and craftier, and I needed to fin

Going public: Down Syndrome Awareness Day and what it means to us.

Starting this blog was a big deal for me. It's hard to throw out there in conversation that my baby girl has Down Syndrome, because that extra chromosome makes people view her differently. But because it is Down Syndrome Awareness Day on 3/21, I'm going public. Do you know why it's on the 21st?  Because of the 21st chromosome having an extra copy! So far, Evie has just been our beautiful baby girl who is learning to smile and reach for things. But as she grows older, I want our extended circle of friends to know, so that they can treat her as a typical little girl who may be a little delayed in her development, but will want to be included just like other kids.  I want the other kids to play with her and to learn that little girls with disabilities like to have fun too. Our story about our diagnosis is here .   Now that we've met Evie and know what we're dealing with, it's not SO scary as it was before.  Still overwhelming sometimes , but I wouldn'

Why is Sophie the Giraffe so awesome?!

My husband and I had a discussion about why Sophie the Giraffe is so beloved and effective, yet so simple.  This rubber giraffe is $18-25, and Erick was just astounded that it is so expensive.  I told him that EVERYONE has this giraffe, and he asked why it was so special.  This post is dedicated to my dear husband. A rare photo without her oxygen cannula Evie LOVES Sophie.  So the question is why? 1. Who wouldn't love a toy with its own Wikipedia entry and Facebook page?  I knew Sophie was French, but had no idea she was so old.   2.  Why not a penguin, a duck, or an elephant?  It's the neck.  A giraffe has the perfectly sized neck for an infant to grab and practice motor skills.  Then why not an ostrich?  The neck is too skinny, and no ears for baby to suck on! (You can tell I am sleep deprived, because I am thinking of the ideal animal for a rubber toy.) 3. No batteries required.  Since Evie was born, our battery inventory has grown significantly. Someone need