Hi my name is Jeannie

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Jeannie Barletta
Jeannie Barletta's picture
Hi my name is Jeannie

Hi,

I have an 11yr old son with a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism. He is non verbal and has been using Augmentative communication for most of his life. We started with low tech and introduced high tech as he progressed. He was five years old when he received his first device. Up until the iPad and Proloquo2Go were developed he used a Dynavox device which proved to be a hindrance in many ways. One, it was heavy and cumbersome for him and two, not easy to program on the fly. I went to a workshop, met Sam Sennott, and knew that Poloquo2Go was what he needed to become a more efficient communicator. I followed the correct channels going to his SLP and Special Ed teacher at his school explaining why I felt this would be beneficial to him for his communication needs. Long story short, the AT evaluator and school SLP felt that he was not ready to move beyond his single word requesting. The evaluator, in my home, said to my husband and I, and I quote, " He is untestable. You see Down syndrome for all off five minutes then it's BAM! Autism! If I was the one who had initially evaluated him I would have never given him a device. He should not even be in a public school he should be in a private school with children like him." Needless to say I was so taken back and upset that I could only stare with my mouth open. Mind you,at this point, he had been using a communication device for three and a half years, successfully. I told her about Proloquo2Go and my hopes in using the program in conjunction with the iPad would further his learning as well as his communication. I asked if we went ahead with our plans to purchase both, would I be inhibiting his progress in any way? She said no, as long I set it up the same as his Dynavox. Well, without their blessing we did. I learned how to program Proloquo2go and started implementing it immediately. I'm proud to say that he had no issue transitioning between devices and learned to navigate in just a couple of days. (He was still using his Dynavox at school). I filmed him for one month from day one, went back to the school and presented my case. Two days later i received a phone call from the principal telling me they would be purchasing both iPad and Proloquo2Go for him. It's been two and a half years since that horrific day in my kitchen when I realized that no one knew him like I did. He has been using both the IPad and Proloquo2Go since and successfully expanding his communication. I became a Proloquo2Go trainer and continue to advocate and educate those who work with him and others. I'm happy to say that he will be attending middle school with his typical peers in the fall and I programmed his new school iPad and Proloquo2Go for his new SLP. Just yesterday, it was 95 degrees, 110 with humidity where I live. He sat at the dinner table and told us several times that it was hot! I will forever be grateful to the developers for truly changing my sons life and ours. We look forward to his communication growing, helping others, and new developments from AssistiveWare. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Jeannie

Carol Villars
carol's picture
Thank you Jeannie for

Thank you Jeannie for introducing yourself and telling us about your son. I too have a child with the dual dx of DS/Autism. I'd love to hear about how you started your son with Proloquo2Go and how you worked up to where he is now.

Would you mind expanding your story in the Family Discussion group?

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