We are still working on the "talk box"...the learning curve is steeper than I anticipated...
The funny thing is that it happened just as I suspected. We ordered the Accent about 1 month before a verbal boom. You know, when ALL the speech therapy of the last 4 years fell into place and she started talking like a house afire. Well...for her...
I was not in love with the speech therapist from the 2 school years previous to this one. I mean, I didn't hate her, and Elise liked her, and she did her job. But she really pushed sight words and school and reading, with led to a sight words boom. But this focus also led to debilitating stuttering and a complete stall in social words. Such that last summer I engaged a speech therapist outside the school system, for the exclusive goal of eating and socializing. She was lovely and near by, but she was also scheduled quite full and we were worked in once a week. So, when the therapy center than Elise gets hippo therapy (horse occupational therapy) engaged an extra speech therapist, I was in.
Also, at the beginning of the school year, we were thrilled to discover that her new speech therapist at school was one of our very favorites from back in "Babies Can't Wait" days (Early Intervention, pre 3 years program). And Elise has loved having her again.
Between Kathleen and Pam, Elise speech has completely exploded thanks to support and the brilliance of these ladies. They are the kind of speech therapists that talk to the kids, ask about their likes, and then they utilize the snot out of those interests...I love them. Even if their last names make me giggle like a tweeny-bopper...because they are like textbook words on HARD TO SAY. Which, is ironic for a speech therapist, if you ask me...
Although Pam and Kathleen have been beyond amazing, and Elise has really started to sound clearer, she still is low on the speech realm. And the talk box would be really excellent for chatting with those that don't know her...but Elise has gotten all pompous because people are understanding more...especially her conversation starters...and so she doesn't want to use the box, because she doesn't need it for the conversation starters...and so she is not practicing the beginning stuff, and wants it for the harder stuff, but because she doesn't use it for the beginning stuff, the more advanced stuff is almost impossible to find, which makes her frustrated, which makes her not want to use the box...and the circle continues. I should have gone over the school's head years ago.
My intervention has gone to "school time" in the mornings. Where we read and color and write. And now practice our talk box. Hopefully, this will get better.
"School Time" was inadvertently invented, because Elise was sad that she couldn't go to school and was taking that frustration out on her sisters. So, now we are somewhat scheduling our day, so expectations protect us from meltdowns. If you know me, you know I don't love that...but, it's better than the alternative...so....
The funny out-growth of this new speech boom is that Elise has now become Vanna White to sell me on the apps she wants to buy.
Elise got a Kindle for a conglomerate (all gift cash going toward one item!) birthday present last year. And then I put it in a super safe place. And it's still there. And I can't find it. And it's still there, with my iPod...yay. So, for for this last Christmas conglomerate, she got a new Kindle. I figured that would make the safe one turn up immediately..unfortunately, not this time.
ANYWAY, the Kindle has the unfortunate banner at the bottom of the screen of "other customers who bought this app, also bought..." And Elise spends massive amounts of her days trying to talk me into new apps. AND SHE NEVER FLIPPING GIVES UP. She has persistence in SPADES, People. And this is in the face of the rest of my kids, uh, none of them are exactly mellow push-overs.
(* If you really want to make me happy, please feel free to call Amazon Kindle's Customer service at (206) 922-0866 and beg them to take that banner off. They listened to all the begging and installed Parental Controls which were not originally on the Kindles. So, they really do listen!!)
I will say, for the record, that the Kindle is massively sturdy, and has some amazingly great apps, free and for sale...I love it. Now, if it had been able to download some of the really great speech device apps, we would never have come to the Accent debacle...I really wish that the companies making the special needs apps would acknowledge that the Kindle is a much more reasonable option, and make them in Android versions, too.
But until such a time as the banner is removed, Elise is all about using her new speech to tell me all the lovely things about the apps she wants, telling me what all you can do in it, what different characters can be chosen, and why she totally NEEDS it.
Which is why she has about 6 cooking apps, 3 hair cutting apps, and 5 coloring apps. They were free. I succumb to the duplicate apps, not because I really feel like she needs them, but because I am sooooo proud of the vocal sell...and that deserves a little reward. The only one I regret was a shark app that didn't look terribly violent, but it has unfortunate sound effects. SO! But, if it takes wanting an app to really jumpstart the verbal confidence, so be it.