Category Archives: Media

2 Incredible Years – Insights from an Involuntary Vow of Silence – by EJ & Mommy

Posted: January 25, 2018

Looking back on the last incredible 2 years from being considered "a non-verbal, low functioning autistic child" to the point where EJ is planning retreats for spellers/typers and being asked to put together a book.  We truly hope that by sharing our story we help encourage others to follow their gut and if nothing else expose ALL people to the wonders of an engaging education.  Even for those who believe…

Chapter 13 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking Voices – Frustration

Posted: November 24, 2015

I firmly believe communication is the key to avoiding frustration

Chapter 12 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Happy Birthday Meredith

Posted: November 24, 2015

At the end of this lesson EJs verbalized 3 syllables at a time...that was huge for us.  I loved that it was the highly motivating name of his wonderful stepmom Meredith so he could wish her a Happy Birthday :)

Chapter 11 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Epic Session

Posted: November 14, 2015

My main goal with this session was to make sure it was fun and interesting and keep him engaged.  In my wildest dreams I did not expect him to sit with me for almost 40 minutes! I can't imagine many of you will want to watch this whole thing so I wanna hit on a few highlights... In the very beginning he says "morning" which was such a shocker by…

Chapter 10 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Shapes

Posted: November 14, 2015

At the time I had no idea we would end up homeschooling EJ and just tried to do all his work at home or the gym as he continued to refuse to go to class.  We actually homeschooled our other 3 children but I never really thought I would be able to teach EJ. Since the heat was subsiding we tried really hard to get him back to class.  He…

Chapter 9 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – The Heat

Posted: November 14, 2015

In the interest of keeping it real I posted this session on September 10, 2015.  We were nearing the end of the 2nd week of ridiculous heat.  It was keeping the kids in the classrooms all day which is pretty much torture for EJ.  He was really not in the mood so I was trying to stick to something he'd want to chat about...animals. He has a voracious sensory appetite.…

Chapter 8 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Verbalizing

Posted: November 14, 2015

So here we are after just a couple weeks of working more specifically with alternative teaching methods and assistive technology.  Specifically RPM with lots of visuals and TouchChat as an AAC app. This lesson was so significant to me because he really started verbalizing a lot.  I was so caught off guard that I didn't even notice him proudly saying "brown" until I watched the video.  I have to say…

Chapter 7 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Colors

Posted: November 14, 2015

There were 2 main things I was hoping for during this lesson. The first was that if we talked about something very high interest it would keep him engaged.  He'd been watching this Max and Ruby episode so I hoped he would let me pause and discuss. There were 3 colors that I had yet to have him spell and he got "yellow" perfect on the first try.  It's amazing…

Chapter 6 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Lion

Posted: November 14, 2015

It's really been interesting for me to go back and watch these first videos of EJ and I typing and using AAC and RPM together.  There were a couple more where I'm on his left and then read about how I should be on his right.  In this video we start talking about colors and I'm trying to wait to see if he can find the answer without choices. I…

Chapter 5 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – 1st RPM Lesson

Posted: November 13, 2015

August 24, 2015 So, this was just after I had the amazing good fortune to attend Katie Anawalt's workshops on RPM at the West Coast Communication Symposium put on by REACH (the incredible organization formerly known as WAPADH).  I had been reading about RPM ever since I read "Ido in Autismland" but honestly didn't know if I could do it or if EJ would even sit still for a lesson.…

Chapter 4 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – “Dolphin” Drawing

Posted: November 13, 2015

Just 4 days after the Grand Opening of WRTS Whittier, EJ and his brother Christian were playing and I was able to capture this moment.  EJ started typing the words from Baby Neptune during Christian's water polo scrimmage just a few days earlier.  I thought it was pretty cool that not only did he seem to associate the swimming with all the water animals but that when he would misspell…

Chapter 3 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Starbucks

Posted: November 9, 2015

EJs favorite thing to type is still animals and anything from Baby Einstein videos.  As we were waiting for his AAC Device (and iPad with an AAC app) we tried several others.  We got EJs iPad just before the school year ended so he could work with it over the summer.  It was loaded with LAMP Words for Life which is an amazing program but almost too involved for most…