Friday, May 24, 2013

Quick Update

Much is going on.  Just so much to do at the end of the year.  The homeschooled high schoolers are done for the year now that they took their finals earlier in the week.  I'm excited to report that we are ahead of the game and have most of their schedule planned out for next year.  Adam is getting ready to graduate and we bought a 4th used car for John that gets great gas mileage so Adam will have the old Nissan Max to go to and from work and college.  Many dentist appointments-- half of the kids have cavitites-- half don't.  Alex got new AFOs a few days ago-- he loves them! 

Nolan is enrolled in mainstream transitional kindergarten and will have an Ipad with Proloquo2Go to help him communicate.  Nolan has a hard time communicating because his mouth does not have the structure to produce intelligible words.  My hope is that this program will finally give him a voice!  He is so smart and has so much to say.  I just wish the school would have agreed to let him bring it home so he could use it with us too.  The Ipad and program combo is so expensive that I was hoping they would at the very least upload the program for us if we bought an Ipad-- but no.

Our little garden is growing great in some areas-- not so great in others.  Still, it brings great satisfaction watching something grow after nurturing it.  I wish I could say the same with my flowers.  One of my sons mistook all of the new growth for weeds and pulled every single one-- and left the weeds.  It might not have been such a big deal if he hadn't disobeyed me by pulling the bucket of weeds in the opposite place I had asked him to do it-- a consequence after refusing to listen to me.  :(  Between that and baseball, I'm almost convinced that we won't have flowers this summer. 

After shedding a few tears because of the situation with my teenage son and seeing the dead flowers in the bucket, I am now thinking about other ground covers.  Any suggestions?

21 comments:

  1. Jessica's puppy dug up our yard AND taught the dogs we already to dig. And the new little guy. So we have dirt with holes. Sigh. Can't plant any flowers because she thinks they are there to dig up. Guess we'll have to break her of that habit before we plant anything again.

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  2. Hi,
    I know a few kids that take home the school issued ipad!!! :( Fight for it! lol

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  3. We had a fight to get tech support at school. Finally an iPad was issued. She brings it home. Obviously we are responsible for it. They will not load the same programs on our personal one as there are laws preventing that is what we were told. Many districts are providing iPads for all the students...ours is doing 6-12th grade. Those students bring them home as many assignments are on there (doing away with lots of books). I would check into that again as that iPad is issued to him...we had staff taking ours initially until we pressed that it came home :/ hope this helps

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  4. There are some cheaper picture communication apps, that might at least help for home use. not nearly as great as proloq2go, but it might allow Nolan to make choices at home? Or, a text to voice output if/ once his writing skills are there. just an idea, our district also wont allow school ipads to go home.

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  5. One day the son who destroyed your flowers will show up on Mother's Day with brand new ones to replace those he pulled out or chopped down. It might take 10 or 15 years, but ti will warm your heart and bring a smile to your face.

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  6. I would check into that, too. Both w the school and any social service agency that can help.

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  7. Alysum is a beautiful ground cover. And the seeds are really little. It will start growing about 2 weeks after you plant it.

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  8. Hi!My children are homeschooled so I receive limited services from the school district. But maybe if he was enrolled in your charter school he could receive it?Check out Brandi's blog "The Prudent Homemaker". She has great ideas for gardens and flowers.In fact she is redoing her front yard. She also lives in an area that has a limit amount of rain and soil that is poor like in your area.I recently had our backyard regraded to have it more leveled.I had to have all the new grass replanted.I used a grass mixture that Penn State created.Good luck, Pat

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  9. I agree with previous anonymous. I'm an SLP in the schools and I have a student with autism who takes his word processor home. I have also heard of other kids who take their communication devices home (though we use dedicated communication devices for the most part which are typically super durable). Fight for it... See if they would let you sign a waiver saying you would replace or pay for repairs if it were to be damaged. Budgets are small which is probably why they aren't willing to risk it, but if you agree to pay, it might sway them! If not, you may want to look into getting an advocate who is knowledgable about communication needs.

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  10. I can understand them not installing it on your ipad. Those types of programs only allow for so many downloads, and are typically downloads for educational institutions are different than at home private use. It was nothing personal I'm sure- just protecting their end. If the publishers find out about it the school could loose their subscription because they violated their agreement with the publisher. It is the same principle as photocopying current curriculum.

    What you can do is buy a used version off of Ebay, get it from his speech therapist, or get it from your local children's hospital, write the company for a grant...or you could download it illegally from the Swedish.

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  11. Gracie is in public school and an IPad is provided that she brings home. It has that program to encourage her to communicate ( autistic and non verbal at age 10 yrs). It is a great program. They even bought a shoulder carrier so she can take it with her everywhere. We will have it thru the summer too. I would certainly try to get it home…because he lives part of his life there too. We also taught her sign language. Sad to hear they don't want to encourage his speech in all areas of his life.

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  12. If the iPad/app are listed in his IEP as an augmentative or alternative communication (AAC) device or system, it is supposed to come home with him if it will in any way impact his education or future employability. Since it would be used as his main form of communication, I think that would fall into those categories.

    iPad's aren't "dedicated devices" or durable medical equipment, which makes them different than traditional AAC devices. But, I would think that the app itself would be considered an AAC. The only thing that I can think of that would be a problem is that AAC training needs to be completed by the school's Speech Pathologist prior to transitioning it into the home, so they may be able to justify waiting until the school year starts.

    I think once they know that YOU KNOW he has a right to communicate at home, they will probably be more willing to share the software--especially since it doesn't cost them anything extra.

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  13. I wonder if Prompt Speech Therapy would help Nolan. Might be at least worth checking into. Google Prompt Institute to learn more and find a local therapist.

    My little girl with apraxia did 6 months of traditional speech therapy with zero results and started talking after just one session of Prompt. Now, two months in, she says at least 20 clear words and many more approximations.

    My 4 yo son has multiple disabilities affecting his ability to speak, including CLCP, and he is also doing Prompt Speech Therapy now. It's slower going for him than for my little girl, but in the last week he has said three words spontaneously. That's HUGE for him and for us.

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  14. Don't know if it grows in your climate, but St. John's Wort is fast-growing groundcover. Also try rosemary and lavender.

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  15. To assist individuals and families who cannot afford Proloquo2Go, we offer the Proloquo2Go App Donation Program, for which we have partnered with Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region (Villa Park, Illinois, US). Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region, a well-known 501(c)(3) non-profit, has a long history of helping people with speech impairments and is internationally known for its expertise in the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). We recognize that not everyone can afford Proloquo2Go, and we therefore offer the Proloquo2Go App Donation Program to help those with limited funds get access to the software.

    To be eligible for the donation program, an Augmentative Communication Evaluation by a licensed Speech Language Pathologist must be included with the submission of each application. An application will first be reviewed by the financial office of the Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region center for compliance with the financial need requirements of the donation program. If the application meets these requirements, it will be reviewed by an AAC reviewing team from the center. Among other things, an AAC specialist will then evaluate whether or not Proloquo2Go meets the needs of the client.

    With the donation program, AssistiveWare and Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region hope to help many individuals and families. We believe Proloquo2Go can make a difference to many individuals with speech impairments, but as it may not always be the most appropriate solution, it is important to partner with organizations, such as Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region.

    The donation program is open to anyone in the USA. For more information and the policy for the Proloquo2Go App Donation Program, please email assistivetech@eastersealsdfvr.org.

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  16. Have you tried sign language with Nolan? I've seen people with other hand differences using sign.

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  17. What about an Ipod touch? That program works with it too, but the touch is much cheaper.

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  18. Oh guess what I found? We have a Samsung Tab 2 that we love. I refuse to pay the $ for Iproducts. There are communication apps for Android, which the Samsung is and I paid less than $200 for our tablet.

    http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2011/03/09/7-special-needs-apps-in-the-google-android-market/

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  19. Hi Christine,
    I am an assistive technology specialist in Texas. In my school district, we have a form called a "Technological Device Lending Agreement" that we offer to parents. Basically, it says that the parent take financial responsibility if something happens to the device (iPad) while it's in their care. You may ask you school district if they have something similar so that Nolan can take his device home. Also, the state of Texas has something called the State Telecommunication Assistance Program (STAP) through the Department of Rehabilitative Services. This program will purchase a communication device for an individual once every five years. You may want to check and see whether your state has something like this. Good luck!!

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  20. Sorry to hear about the flower incident. My youngest son pulled my potted geraniums out earlier this spring because he thought he was doing some work if his own.

    Not sure what your climate can support there but loriope is a great ground cover we have as edging for most if our beds. It transplants well and grows like a weed once you get it started. Different colored spike type flowers depending upon the variety you have in the spring, dark green leaves the rest of the year. Alyssum is another great ground cover that flowers all summer. It also might not be too late to get some small pentas plants from Lowes. They grown very well in all types of climates and come in many colors. Once started they go crazy and flower all summer.

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  21. We use that program with our students. I know our MHMR provides ipads for students or there are organizations that give money for it. As for the program, I know students have their school ipad and their home ipad and both are synced to have the same icons so communication can be consistant. You design the pages, ie school page which can have a folder for art, music, morning meeting, PE, etc. Personal care page, bathroon, snack, lunch, etc. I would see what agencies around you that can help you. Every child should have a voice at school and home. I know with our students signing is not a viable solution since they do not have the skills to sign properly due to their disabilities (CP, TBI, etc,) Be vocal or get an advocate to pled your case. Worse comes to worse get an attorney. You will see how quickly the attitude will change. Best of luck!

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