Jun 18, 2010

New Toys

Ainsley got two new toys this week. Lucky girl!

Her new AAC device, the Vantage. This is an older model that the school district had on hand. We got it just in time for the summer so we can try it out and decide if this is the right type of device for Ainsley. They provide a device to meet her educational needs but they expect that the child brings the device home and whereever they go in addition to school, so this will be "hers" as long as we need it.

Here is the primary screen. It's setup for 15 buttons per page, it can also do 45 when/if she's ready for that. From there you navigate to more pages that contain words and phrases. And those pages can link to even more pages. The device then "speaks" the words selected with the buttons. It's very very cool! And the big kids love it. Perhaps I'll post a video of it in action when we get it fully customized. I got the software today.

Ainsley started to get a little annoyed that everyone else was playing with her new talker. You can see how interested they are.

We tried out using a pointer made from a short pencil and erasers, since she has a little trouble isolating her point (she often has trouble getting the fingers back, although she did a really great point for the first time this week, see below.). Here she is pushing the button that says "I use this communication device to help me talk." Wow!

Look how great she looks?! If only she could point that well every time.

It even has a page for books, with the animals/words from "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?" and Ainsley selected the animals on the pages using her device. I'm really excited to customize this device for her. It will be much more powerful than the Tech-speak she's been using. I think she's ready.

Later in the week I meet up with Steve's cousin's teenage daughter, Ehlana, who had a couple American Girl dolls she wanted to give Evie and Ainsley. Evie was so excited to present them to her sister.

 Ainsley's been jealous of Evie's dolls so it's really great that now she gets one of her own. She chose Samantha and Evie chose Molly. She also gave them a bunch of the AG books. 

 There was also a neat couch and bed. The girls had fun playing dolls together in the kitchen.

See how happy she is?! Thanks Ehlana! That was so generous of you and it made the girls very happy! We're going to have fun over the weekend playing with our new toys. I hope you all have a good weekend too!


  1. Thank you for sharing this! I can't wait to look up her AAC device. I have never heard of that one.
    I have been trying to set up an AAC eval for my daughter but have been having problems with insurance.
    Cute pictures of the girls playing with dolls!

  2. she looks like such a big girl!! so happy with her dolls...too cute!

  3. Ainsley look at how happy you are playing with your dollies.
    Soooo Sweet!!
    Brown Bear our favorite book out of all the books in our entire house!!
    ( K, Are you nerdy like me? Do you sing the book also? I just gotta know this!)

    I want to see a video of her using the device? I am interested to see how it works and I want to know your opinion on it. My biggest fear is that Gage would be unmotivated to sign and try to talk.....what are your thoughts on this?

    I so love that last image of Ainsley, Susan. A little girl with immense love for her new doll, makes my heart want to burst. I just really, really love her smile in that image!!

    Great looking family Susan!

    Hugs and all the love in the universe from me to you!!

  4. Have you come across Proloquo2Go? It's newish and not actually a device as such, but an app for iPod, iPhone and now iPad and it is excellent. Apart from being also really cheap compared to something like a Vantage or Dynavox. Check it out? I use it on my iPhone for my "can't talk" days and moments.

  5. Susan,

    I am SO glad Ainsley has this device! If it is anything like the Springboard Lite, you are ALL going to love it!

    Lisa - in my opinion the device has made Harlie want to talk MORE and I've heard that from other mom's of kids with devices, as well. And Harlie got to play hide and seek with a friend, something she never would have been able to play without it. We love it!

    And Susan, that is SO cute to see Ainsley playing dolls with Evie. Such a great, normal activity - and one to cherish!!!

    Love all the pictures, as usual!

  6. I love that device---it looks amazing! I myself would want to try it out, so I can see why Ainsley was getting annoyed! Hope she enjoys it this summer.

  7. So great to see Ainsley doing so well!

    Have you seen the Tap To Talk program? It is $99 a year and works on an IPhone, IPad, PC, and even with a Nintendo. The program fee includes the use of the program on all the above. Here is a link to the website: http://www.taptotalk.com/ and to some videos showing it in use: http://www.youtube.com/user/taptotalk#p/a/u/0/lIenOsCmWl8