The Daughter Chronicles

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Santa Claus came in March

First of all, if you're interested in getting a hilarious pirate comic book for free, check out my other blog for details. It's really funny - I promise!

Second of all, it's March, but "Santa Claus" showed up this week. We have been waiting for months for certain items to help Mia habilitate, and this week, they arrived. Oh, the joy!

First, on Tuesday her Augmentative Communication Device arrived. We've mentioned it before on this blog, but I'll tell you some more. It's a device that facilitates communication ("augments" it, you might say), and it's supposed to get her talking more smoothly. She had an evaluation back in October (or November - it was a while ago, to say the least) and they recommended one for her. After jumping through the usual insurance hoops, it came in and I picked it up. It's a rectangular machine that has eight cells divided by a plastic cover on its face. Into these cells you can insert pretty much any kind of picture. On the back is a recording device into which you can speak to match the pictures to whatever it is they represent. Therefore, right now there's a picture in one of the cells of a child eating and the word "eat" written under him (or her - it's kind of androgynous). When you push the picture, a voice says "May I have something to eat, please?" This is supposed to help Mia with 1) asking for what she wants, since she can see the pictorial representation and push the appropriate cell; and 2) learning what the words are that go with that particular picture (or desire). We can also cover up some of the cells to start her off with only two showing, which is what her Speech Therapist recommended. The package included the software to program whatever we want into it, which is apparently a steal, since the software is ridiculously expensive (as is everything in rehabilitative services, apparently). We haven't begun working with it yet, but we'll be checking it out and seeing how to use it over the next days and weeks. More updates to follow!

Then, yesterday, she got her wheelchair. This actually didn't take as long as we thought it would - about three months from measuring her to delivery. It looks like a stroller, but it has a better chair to keep her more secured and upright, and it has a hard plastic tray so she can eat in it if that's what we want. It's good to have something sturdier than a stroller, especially since she'll be going to school in the fall and will probably have to be the chair often. We're hoping she doesn't need it all that long (like a year), but we're at least we're prepared if she does need it longer.

I'll put pictures up when I finish my roll of film. Yes, I should get a digital camera. No, I'm not going into the problems I have with digital cameras. Yes, I have issues with digital cameras. No, I'm not seeking treatment.