Saturday, June 29, 2013

being heard in public and batteriy drain and keeping a charge

     how is everyone? I just wanted to give a quick update and share with you some of the challanges of relying on an AAC app for communication. one of the challenges i have been running into is being heard. it seems neither the ipad nor the phone speaker are quite loud enough to be heard while out and about. either outside or in stores. this of coarse shouldn't come as much of a shock when you think about it people generally have to speak louder when outside their homes in order to be heard. to deal with  this issue i have gotten my bluetooth speaker. this seems to be working quite nicely now. however this comes with its own challenges. i need to remember to charge it. 
    in fact on of the major down sides to relying on the cell or an ipad for communication other then being easly drowned out by sound is the charge. you need to fully charge these deceives at night and charge them when not in use as the AAC will drain the battery. generally i still get nearly a full days use of my AAC without charging during the day but i will be almost out of battery by 8 pm and need a charge so if i am planning on going out i will need to charge while at home. it is also wise to plan to pack chargers and car chargers when going out just encase you end up out later then expected. I plan to post a blog with photos of my  gear soon. For now I wish you all a good night  im off to sleep.

Monday, June 24, 2013

My FIRST guest blogger!!! Melody Rain her post " wandering How I do it and what it might look like"

    Alright i very very excited to announce we have an awesome (and my FIRST) guest blogger Melody Rain!  Melody is also an adult on the autism spectrum and an advocate for autism awareness. She is a great advocate  with a lot of information and insight on autism Bellow is a piece written by Melody rain and what autism is like for her and what you can do to help!

. Melody I want to thank you for allowing me to share this amazing piece of writing with everyone and for your work in spreading awareness and understanding as an adult with Autism!! thank you Melody!

" "Wandering....How I do it/ What it May Look Like, Why and What You Can Do(in hopes to help parents of children with autism who like to wander)"
Written by Melody Rain copyright 2013.

Everyone has seen people walking. Usually when you see a person or a child walking they look pretty determined and focused on where they are going. Most people when they see someone outside walking they do not think anything of it...especially if it is an older child or an adult. Therefore, wandering can be overlooked and people may not recognize that the child or adult may be in danger. 
So how does wandering differ in appearance from someone who is walking to a purposed destination? A person who is walking to a purpose destination may like I said appear determined. They may be walking at a normal pace or even briskly. They may be looking ahead or looking around consistently. They will stop at the end of sidewalks and look both ways before crossing. They may smile or nod as they pass by you and appear like they are completely aware of their surroundings. What might it look like if a person with autism is WANDERING? 
Here are some differences. A person with autism while wandering may have their head down watching their own footsteps or may be focused on an object in their hands. They may look or have a fixated stare either at an object or just wherever they are looking. They may not seem to be aware of their surroundings...but rather in their own world. They may be humming repetively, doing other repetitive movements, or walking in a slow repetitive like motion. Usually their pace will be slower than typical walkers. They may stop in the middle of their pace and just stand....they may even stop in the middle of the road. They may seem completely unaware of any dangers. They may stop to look at things or objects that catch their eye....they may be touching this object. They may be walking towards a water source or around a water source. They may be walking in very hot weather (when typical people may not want to walk), in the rain, in very cold weather, in snow or at night...especially very late. If you speak to them they may not respond or look at you. They may appear deaf. 
There seems to be a need or a desire to wander in many who have autism. Often times I just feel inspired to wander. Sometimes it happens when something dramatic or difficult happened that day. It sometimes feels like an escape from everything around me. It feels good to wander. I have been a wanderer since a young child...though I have not found myself in dangerous situations as a CHILD when wandering mostly because I was found. As an adult I have been in a few dangerous situations such as people who have tried to kidnap me or take me when I have wandered late at night. I do not always completely "check out" when I wander but I seem to be somewhere in the middle of both worlds. Many people who wander may be completely oblivious to all surroundings.
So as a parent you have probably tried to take precautions in order to protect your wandering child or adult child. Locking the doors /windows with alarms to alert you...notifying neighbors to keep watch out for your child, police etc. But here is something else you can do. This may not prevent or discourage all wandering but it may help. Take time with your child or adult child to allow him or her the ability to wander. You think what do you mean??? Well often you might go on a walk to relieve stress or recoop your mind from a hectic day. Your child may need this too in their own way. If your child is a runner or darts out impulsively you certainly want to make sure you do this in a very safe environment. Take your child to a park, big field where there are lots of trees nearby or on a walk somewhere there is not any traffic and allow THEM to lead the walk with you close enough to grab them or be near them incase of any dangers. During this wandering walk allow it to be as much time as they need and DO NOT use this time for conversating, talking or causing any un-necessary distractions. This is their time to unwind, relax and just feel free. 
Written by Melody Rain (adult autistic/advocate and an occasional wanderer) Written to help parents understand a little bit more about the autistic mind."  - by Melody Rain  


Saturday, June 22, 2013

this week has become trouble shooting week

      I am sorry i haven't been posting about my experiences however this week has been mostly trouble shooting. it is taking me a bit to get a handle on what albums i will need and things i may want to say during the day. this how ever has helped me realize just how much work goes into setting up and getting an AAC app to work properly. due to the fact i have spent this week trouble shooting i will be extending the testing period a whole week. so day one will officially start Monday. this should give me enough to to put the finishing touches on each album and maybe get some family members to help out with that.

 i also finally have a working laptop. this has actually made editing and setting up tap to talk much easier. I highly suggest anyone who is looking into getting or has just gotten a taptotalk subscription that they get access to a computer for setting up the albums. while you can set them up via safari on your i pad and I phone it is not as efficient as a computer and it takes a lot more time. I should also note you can not access or use the taptotalk designer on your smart phone at this time this is something i hope that changes in the future especially since the app is available for non iphone smart phones. again sorry for the delay and thank you so much for your patients.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Taptotalk testing day one mild frustration and starting over

Okay so today was ,y first day testing the tap to talk. I was very excited when they day started! I couldn't wait to get started. However today has been a but frustrating for me. When I started up my tap to talk and started using it I realized I had a few issues. The first issue was that when I started to use the app I realized that I had forgotten to save something's when creating the albums so some albums didn't have speech to them or had the speech all mixed up and wrong. Something I will need to fix today.the second was that all my apps were for one sided conversation. I wan I need. So I ended up supplementing with a separate app most of the day.. I will have to go and create new albums . I suspect I will have to create an album for each person I may interact with and places I may go with pre scripted questions. I also ended up talking by need yesterday so I will start over fresh today and Ladd an exra day to my testing period   On the plus side nim and I got to go for a very lovely walk together and have some nice relaxing  muddy and watery fun! Nothing  cheers you up quite like a hike in the woods!!!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Testing starts tomorrow!!!!

      I am sorry I have been away for so long! I have been very busy with medical related stuff, but I have recently been given the all clear and can resume my regular daily activities!!! Yay! Mao tomorrow starts my first testing period!! I will be testing tap to talk for the next 2 weeks! During those weeks I will not be speaking at all unless it is a emerganceys (assu,ing I can get the words out in an emerganceys)  I will be using tap to talk for all of my communication with the outside world. Should I need to supplement it with another app I will document in my review. So over the next 2 weeks i will be blogging about my experiences using tap to talk! i cant wait!!!!! I also plan to hopefully be doing a pos about service dogs for autism soon.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

DSM 5 criteria for Autism.

      As most of you know the DSM 5 was released earlier last month. The dsm 5 for those who don't know is the fifth edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. This is basically a revised updated edition of the dsm. This was a high,y controversial revision as just about everything in the dsm changed? One of the most controversial changes was to autism. The 5 autism spectrum disorders where merged into one disorder known as autism spectrum disorder.  These are Aspergers, childhood disintegrative disorder classic autism and pdd -nos. I want to make it very lol ear anyone who has previously been diagnosed with any of the above are automatically now considered to have autism spectrum disorder and will not loose their diagnosis and should not loose any services! It hey also added severity levels to the dsm. I have spent the last few weeks trying to get a view of the final criteria and I have finaly gotten it and couldn't wait to share it with my readers. Here it is. Sorry the photos are kind of bad I took them with a cell phone.these are from a small dsm. Handbook I hope to obtain photo copies of the criteria from the big dsm 5 soon!  I will also post a link to a video explaining them.  I hope you enjoy I want to know what do you think of the new criteria? Would you add or change anything?  If you disagree with someone I simply ask that you not turn it into a fight thank you

Dsm 5 criteria