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Meredith and her Nova Chat

Posted on 2013-09-18 12:02:27 by Admin under AAC in Action

Early on we realized that Meredith would need an alternative way to communicate due to her tracheostomy.  So, we started out teaching her ASL and learning along with her, thinking this was just for a couple of years. Then when she was 3 years old we found out that she also has a paralyzed vocal cord and that it is not likely to resolve on its own.  At this point we knew that we had to step it up a notch with teaching and learning ASL and consider other communication alternatives.

Once Meredith was enrolled in the public school system it became very apparent to them as well, that something needed to be done to help her language development progress.  Fortunately by then, the Nova Chat had recently progressed to the 7” tablet which is the perfect size for Meredith, since she is a very petite 5 year old.  In late spring 2013 Meredith received her Nova Chat.  Since then, Meredith’s language is steadily improving and she is even able to communicate with sentences.  She does have a great sense of humor for her age and often she will make a request using sign, but will then use her Nova Chat to say the same thing, as if to let us know she doesn’t think we understand her or perhaps we are too slow.  I would say her favorite thing to do right now with her Nova Chat is to request pasta.   Since it is her current favorite food she will say, “I want to eat more pasta, pasta, pasta!”   I also believe that using the Nova Chat has helped to improve her signing.  She has become so much better combining two or three signs when communicating, rather than making one word requests.  While it is still early and she is still young I am so happy that Meredith is able to have total communication thanks to her Nova Chat.

Benton and his Nova Chat 7 aka "Rocky"

Posted on 2013-04-04 10:37:31 by Admin under AAC in Action

Meet Benton aka Mr. “B”. Benton is an eleven year old boy who has quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. Benton’s life changed in Jan 2013 when he received his Nova Chat 7 which Benton named “Rocky”. For 11 years Benton only communicated by hand and face gestures. "I always knew that my son had a voice and never gave up", said Benton's mom. "We met with Mrs. Jill and Ms. Barbara over at Jill Tullman and Associates located in Colorado, and immediately started AAC therapy. Needless to say our lives changed forever. We tried many different devices, but Benton didn’t really take off until he tried the Nova Chat 7. It was a perfect fit".  Since Benton really doesn’t have much control over his arms and hands. Benton uses the scanning option on the Nova Chat 7. He has a head switch mounted to his head rest. He listens for his choices through a speaker and then uses his head to activate the Nova Chat 7. "Benton decided we would name the device 'Rocky' because when Benton has 'Rocky' skies are the limit and he is unstoppable. From the day it arrived it Benton has communicated almost everything. It has opened up a whole another world. Benton is totally a different child he now has such a vibrant outlook on life now that he can be able to speak through 'Rocky'. We would like to thank everyone who made this possible!"

Jennifer and her Nova Chat 10

Posted on 2013-01-18 12:24:05 by Admin under AAC in Action

Meet Jennifer O., she is our spotlight story for January. Jennifer is an excellent AAC user and has been since suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury 12 years ago. She currently lives in an assisted nursing facility however she is very independent when it comes to her communication. Jennifer was extremely excited to receive her new Nova Chat 10 this past year.  Her favorite accessory was the PURPLE cover that comes with it since this is her all time favorite color. Jennifer has a wonderful sense of humor and whenever she can she pipes in with her Nova Chat to make a silly comment, or crack a joke!

Jennifer has an immense vocabulary so the 80 button ChatPower vocabulary set is perfect for her. It allows her to spontaneously type words/phrases that are not already programmed in the vocabulary set as well as assist with speeding up her communication with the preset messages. One of Jennifer’s favorite features is the Nova Chats ability to open applications such as Facebook, Calendar, Google Voice, Websites, games and many other fun apps. Jennifer loves to keep in touch with her friends and family via text messages. Before receiving her Nova Chat, Jennifer was texting on a small cell phone which was hard for her to operate with just one hand. The Nova Chat is able to open up Google Voice allowing Jennifer to text with the device keyboard and increasing her independence in communicating with friends and family. Jennifer’s quality of life has greatly improved since receiving her Nova Chat and she is so thankful that this device was made possible.

Janine and her ChatPC

Posted on 2012-11-30 11:51:00 by Admin under AAC in Action

Meet Janine, our Saltilo spotlight start for November.  This is her story.

I started learning my ChatPC three years ago. To get approval and funding for my device I had two of my doctors and my speech therapist write letters to my insurance company and I went to a big building to see the person that is in charge of approving or not approving requests for my health insurance company.  When I got approval I was so excited. I use my ChatPC to get my needs and desires across.I talk to my friends at the bank too. And I answer yes and no questions. Sometimes I get nervous and confused when I am trying to communicate. I am learning to take my time. The ChatPC helps me pay attention. It also helps me count my money. Recently, I had a very bad experience and had to go to court to get an injunction to keep a bad person away from me. I was able to tell my story to two interpreters that helped me during the hearing. I was successful getting the permanent injunction.  I am excited to learn more.