Sunday, December 27, 2009

in the trenches

Well, we are knee deep into our Proloquo2go trial now...there are good and bad things happening, so far.

First of all, Mas is able to scroll, which is really cool. But, sometimes he inadvertently scrolls when he is pushing a button and not watching what he's doing...which results in nothing being said and he gets frustrated. Also, sometimes he is pushing a little too long, (leftover habit from the Palmtop 3) and then it pulls up an edit option for the item he is pushing. All of these things are "tweakable"...I just need to spend some time on the forum and see how to go about it. He does like the pictures of the family on there, and smiles whenever he sees the cows, lights, or dogs on the screen! :o) I think he is just like the rest of us, though; a creature of habit. We are all resistant to change in this house, and he is no different. Hopefully things will pick up with it a little bit as time goes on.

Our winter storm brought about 20 inches of snow to the area, give or take an inch or two....ridiculous amounts of snow! It has been snowing here for 5 days straight now. The shoveling and snowblowing has been insane! Lots of closeness in the house and it's safe to say we are all suffering a bit from cabin fever! Time to take a ride today and see if we can get to grandma's house.

That's about it from our house. Here's hoping January calms down in the precipitation arena.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

getting ready...


Mas started trialing the iPod touch/Proloquo2go application today! I can report he seemed intrigued...the first day we put it around his waist, a few weeks back, he wasn't exactly overly keen on the idea. Today, he was pushing buttons, checking things out, looking around, and even scrolling....wow. He seemed to be very interested in using it, which is half the battle. Now, for the parents to figure out how to disable certain things while he is using it! ;o)

15 is considering joining the Robotics team, which is exciting stuff. Sounds like she might have to dig in and use tools and stuff, which is awesome. She is still rockin' her Chemistry and doing well in her other subjects...working through the school year is providing her with some nice time management skills, as well.

We are busily preparing for the Blizzard of '09...sounds like 12-18 inches of snow are predicted, with the possibility of two feet. In one storm. It sounds like it could be the worst blizzard since 1968; the year before I was born. My mom said that was a doozy; was the first year our family moved out to Monroe, and she thought they had over 100 inches of snow that season. ARGH! Here's hoping we don't see what they are predicting. Our worst blizzard last year was 8 inches...which means this storm could easily double that...with strong winds and everyone trying to travel for Christmas, could be a nightmare for the hubby who is on call starting tomorrow.

We are working on making oyster stew and eggnog...not necessarily to be consumed at the same time! ;o) My uncle Al always used to make oyster stew for Christmas Eve, and it was awesome. My dad always made eggnog, and I remember that being awesome, as well. Here's hoping we have all the ingredients on hand so we don't have to trek to the store during the snow!

Lastly, is a pic of our tree...ahhhh...what is better than a beautifully lit Christmas tree in a nice, dark room to bring things into perspective?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

how do you like them Apples?

Mason's words are broke again....for the third time since August 17....yes, you can say we are frustrated. The entire situation has given me a new perspective on customer service and standing by your product and making a product you are proud of. That being said, we love his Palmtop 3...when it works. When it doesn't, it's just a $4800 belt buckle.

The most frustrating part for us is that this is the third breakdown in three months, with the exact same symptoms each time, with the company doing the exact same fix. It seems it might be time to try something different?

Last week we were pondering the latest voice troubles with our daughter, and we were saying, "why don't they make an easy to use communication device that is like our iPod or phones?" Hello. They do! Apple put this application out in May of '09...an application that goes directly onto the iPod touch, which is an augmentative communication device...that you can easily program yourself and add things to it immediately. (See a cow in the field? Grab the device, type in, "I see a cow", add a picture if you want, and it's immediately on the device.) This is called the Proloquo2go program and it goes directly onto the iPod touch. With his other device, we have never even been able to sync it ourselves or get our computer to even recognize it. (I sense some serious pressure on the AAC device companies in the near future.) Why pay anywhere from $4,000-$10,ooo for a speech device that keeps breaking down, requiring numerous "send-backs" to the company, sometimes for two weeks at a time? Why not spend $500 and have a device we can program ourselves, and troubleshoot ourselves?

As we have not received the device yet, the jury is still out as to its' ease of use for Mas. We may have to slow down the response on the device and we have to play around a bit with the external speakers and carrying strap options. At any rate, we are excited to possibly have a cost-effective back-up device, for all of those times when the "real" device is being sent to Pennsylvania. This is how advanced technology is supposed to work...as a way to aid those in need. Apple, thank you for being so wise.