Chapter 3 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – Starbucks

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 of the people who would be helping him master it.  He actually picked it up like a charm and any path we taught him he can still do months later.

In August, I had the amazing good fortune to get to attend the West Coast Symposium on Communication right here in Whittier thanks to Regional Center and of course WAPADH/REACH who put it all together.  Not only did I get to meet all sorts of communicators but I attended my first RPM workshops AND was introduced to TouchChat.

It seemed like a perfect AAC app for EJ.  It has a completely customizable student format and there could be a keyboard option on each screen.  My hope is that if he does not see the choice he wants he can just go to the keyboard and type away.  Meanwhile any standard stuff he would have quick access too.

OK, many MANY times in this journey good fortune has smiled on us.  Over this summer our school district hired a new AAC person who had tons of experience with TouchChat and agreed it would be a wonderful fit for EJ.  She came to WRTS Whittier and installed it right then and there.

That week after OT I asked him where he wanted to go…I expected “home” or the “kids gym” but it was an extremely hot day and I only had warm water in the car so he navigated to “I want to go to STARBUCKS”…love this kid.