We had LAMP training at school today for me, school and respite. This was a useful four hours and I’m now able to add icons and change word labels. We’re slowly making the talker British; out with the jelly and in with the jam. I was surprised to find that Americans have doughnuts for breakfast (now re-labelled croissant). School and respite are both up for incorporating LAMP into the daily routine and I’m sure with this approach Archie will soon be saying a lot.
Archie had a session with Nikki his SALT tonight. This session really showed the potential for LAMP making a real difference in Archie’s life. It started as a pretty structured session working on I want eat (so we’re trying to replace nouns such as sweets, which he’s been using for years, with core vocab such as eat) which was pretty successful. Archie’s always motivated by eating. But we then moved onto just having a chat with the talker, and exploring as the conversation twisted and turned. Archie finds it hilarious that Nikki doesn’t drive and walks and Archie began to use the device spontaneously. Nikki modelled car no and Archie replied car yes, before killing himself laughing. We moved onto talking about the strike tomorrow. The kitchen in school is broken and Archie will be going to school by car rather than bus. All modelled and then reproduced by Archie. He asked for more and more vocabulary and soaked it up as we showed him. He was pretty annoyed that I potentially get to go to the beach tomorrow and he doesn’t, and in the process learned ‘go beach’.
I wish I’d videoed the SALT session. I think Archie said more in that hour than he’s said in the last 12 years. Instead I’ll finish with a photo of him and his youngest brother at the beach recently. Louis is half Archie’s age, but likes to look after him – he was worried he was too close to the river here.
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I haven’t had a chance to video this week but we’re really pleased with how things are going. The training will take place in a couple of weeks time and until then I’m finding the words I can! Archie is very motivated and only really needs to be shown once or twice where a word is before he starts using it.
One reason why I liked the Vantage Lite is because it’s so quick to put sentences together. You’re not constantly forced to navigate between different category screens and so finding each word is fast. Archie is now putting three words together such as ‘eat pancakes green’ (translation – eat pancakes on green day i.e. Thursday). I’m sure he would use Thursday or day but I can’t find them on the device. Roll on the training day! Putting this number of words together has been impossible for him up until now, so it’s really a major step forwards.
This is all turning out a bit back to front. I wanted to get the background story completed before the Vantage Lite arrived, so that this first post would make sense and be presented in context. Work and deadlines have conspired against me and this hasn’t happened. The background story will be written and as soon as it is you’ll be able to see how and why we ended up with a Vantage Lite. For now it’s enough to say that we really are incredibly grateful.
It arrived on Thursday evening, but Archie was at respite so first clapped eyes on it on Friday. I didn’t get the actual moment he first saw it on video as he was naked at the time – school clothes are removed as soon as he sets foot through the door. It was ever thus. On seeing it he immediately said ‘mmba’ (talker) and grinned. I got him changed and then had another introduction.
As can be seen it didn’t take Archie long to start using it. We’re having a gentle reintroduction. It’s a little different than the one he had on trial as it has a larger vocabulary. The one he used in the trial had sixty squares, this has the maximum 84 so he needs to re-learn a few sequences. He used it this weekend to direct me in the car (which, incidentally, landed me in a terrible mess reversing backwards up a very steep single lane track) and to order ice cream from his favourite cafe.
A training session has been booked for the end of the month and at that stage it will start going everywhere with him.