It's here!

And it's spectacular!

Lila’s Via Pro arrived on Friday and our SLP let us know she had programmed it and set it up for us and would put it in the mail. I asked her if we could come get it in person, because why not?!?

Why not is because Lila is still afraid of all doctors, so in retrospect, I probably at least shouldn’t have brought her. She started crying as soon as we went in the therapy room and wouldn’t touch her new device and just kept pointing at the stroller and wanting to leave. I eventually put her in the stroller and pushed her to face the wall and then talked to our SLP, so really, probably could have just dropped her off to daycare and then picked it up.

So her SLP showed me how everything worked and all the fun accessories that come with her device and explained some of the support questions we will need to reach out to PRC with. Her new device uses the latest iPad model and seemed much more responsive than the loaner we had been using. It is also very shiny and clean and we hope to keep it that way, at least until somebody gets her sour cream hands all over it.

Because we had some issues with Lila’s loaner device and had to send it back, we have had a second loaner device for the past month. It’s been really frustrating, not because I had to go through and customize a bunch of pages for her again, but because it is in TouchChat 42 layout and we use TouchChat 60 layout. Originally I thought it would be helpful to see if the 42 words per page made it easier to select what she wanted, but it made it harder! Since the words were bigger, she could push one and then leave her hand on it by accident more easily (with the 60, she can rest her fingers on the keyguard.) And since there was a bigger target, somehow she missed the words more? And of course, we couldn’t fit as many words on a page - which theoretically wasn’t a problem because we don’t use more than 30-40 words on a page, but it meant there was no negative space and we couldn’t isolate the words. It wound up being just…really cluttered?

After dinner yesterday Lila saw Molly go to her treat cabinet to get an after dinner treat and she followed her there. As soon as she turned to ask for whatever Molly was eating, I handed her the talker and we navigated to the dessert page. I modeled asking for chocolate candy and Lila requested chocolate candy, and then she got some M&Ms. The plan is to send it to daycare as well now that we have it but I think we will wait a bit on that since her speech therapist is now going in to work on the core board with her teachers.

We printed this giant core board poster and she saw it and immediately knew she was supposed to use it to communicate, even though she isn’t familiar with a lot of the symbols.

We met with daycare last week to discuss the plan going forward, including her using her device at school, but we will have to just see how it goes. We are also hoping to start summer speech therapy in-person at her daycare, and we’re not sure how her AAC device will be integrated into that.

We haven’t received the bill yet or anything from insurance confirming that insurance did, in fact, cover it, so we’ll just continue to wait on that and see when we get a bill. We had preliminary authorization but they tell you a lot that it doesn’t guarantee coverage. (Literally nothing guarantees coverage until the statute of limitations runs out.) Apparently they have to change some settings on it to have it considered durable medical equipment (DME).

The next task is to get all the software installed so we can transfer pages more easily, print overlays for her to use at the table, etc., and install a less bulky strap so she can carry it more easily. We also need to figure out how we will be carrying it around. Between having to make sure Molly can fit her Chromebook in her backpack and having to make sure Lila can fit her iPad in her diaper bag and school bag, millennial parenting is full of challenges.

Have a great holiday weekend!