ADE ESS Blog, week of April 27th

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This week started with me going back to Copper Creek for Dr. MacFarland to observe me working with my student for her class. I believe the experience went well and I was really pleased with the success he has been making with his communication device(s).

Thursday we went to a few schools in Rio Rico, going to different classrooms where Ann used to work and meeting all of the kids there. We then went to a high school to work with a student whose team has had a great deal of difficulty in finding an access location for him to access AAC and environmental controls.

They had a giant closet full of old equipment, mounts and switches. We explored it for a while, pulling out different switches and discussing the applications for each. We then looked at the mounts and discussed how to put them together and what pieces were missing in order to get them onto the student’s new chair. This may be a DDD funding situation where the OT and PT have to write up a report asking for a new mount, or at least a few mounting pieces so it can be placed on his new wheelchair. Based on the look of his old mount, it has to be at least 15-20 years old. Sadly that style of mount looks exactly the same now, just with better screws holding it together.

The really cool part was that Ann found a really great position in which to place a switch for the student. She started with a finger switch which would activate when the finger was flexed, but this was somewhat unreliable. But the area of the hand between the base of the index finger and the hand was the perfect place to place a switch. The OT got really excited and is going to fix a few smaller switches so he can try them out with the student next week. It’s amazing to me that most switches are activated through stereo speaker cable. I’m really curious to practice making my own switch, and I think after finals are done I will do that before my internship ends on May 15.

Oh yeah, we also met with a mother who has a son in elementary school using an Accent 1000 from PRC. She wanted some suggestions about how to incorporate his device more into school and especially in social situations. We looked at a few ideas and he is going to come into the office in a week or two.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I’m attending an AAC walk and I invited the family to attend. It should be an interesting event and I’ll take plenty of pictures. I have to work the booth for Saltillo, but it’s very informal and should be a lot of fun. Plus my wife and son are going with, so it should be even more fun.


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