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This fundraiser ended on 07/26/11

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Victoria needs your help! Please help raise money to help her communicate with an iPod Touch and Proloquo2Go. We appreciate your donations!

Victoria was diagnosed with Pierre Robin Syndrome at birth, then Cornelia de Lange syndrome, cerebral palsy, microcephaly, dysphagia, severe developmental delay, malformed fingers/toes, difficult airway, etc. She has feeding/swallowing issues, is primarily g-tube fed, and has just recently undergone jaw distraction. She has had surgeries on both legs for heel cord extensions and botox injections. She is mostly nonverbal, with the exception of saying a few words (inconsistent and mimicking what others ask her to say). Victoria does not have control of her tongue movement.
Victoria used a TechTalk for communicating this past year, but has not been very successful. She has severe language delay, saying only a few words. She will be moving to the middle school this coming school year. Up to now, Victoria communicates with gestures and facial expressions. She has been able to learn a few signs, but not enough to communicate effectively.
Victoria loves to be around other children. However, since she cannot communicate, children do not stay to talk to her when she doesn't respond to their questions. Victoria tends to wander by herself when on the playground. I believe the iPod Touch will help Victoria communicate and participate more actively in the classroom communicate with friends, and give her the opportunity to interact with others throughout the day in all areas. Victoria communicates with facial expressions (smiles/frowns) and gestures with hands (points) to show she wants something. She has very limited to no communication skills.
Victoria was invited to participate in a two week pilot study by the Speech Garden Institute using the iPad for augmentative communication. To everyone’s surprise, she made so much progress. Her teacher speaks highly of her attention span and willingness to work. She feels Vicky is more at ease and not as frustrated when working with iPad during her 2 hour summer sessions. Vicky works hard and is verbalizing more, although not very clear, but we understand. She used the iPad all day, even when we are not working together. She reviews the skills and apps we worked on earlier in the day. She uses almost every app throughout the day! She knows how to manipulate the iPad with ease. During one meeting date, Victoria had the opportunity to use an iPod Touch, which is smaller than the iPad. I was surprised how easily she became accustomed and experimented her way through the apps. The iPod Touch would be easier for Victoria to carry and manipulate at school.

During the last few days of the study, we received so many compliments the last couple of days in regards to Victoria's attitude, personality, and more socialization since she has worked with the iPad. A few of the remarks were “I never heard Victoria talk before.”; “Listen to her…she is talking.” Victoria was eager to demonstrate her communication skills with anyone who would listen. She communicated with the use of Proloquo2Go and Verbal Victor (2 apps for augmentative communication). Not only did she interact with family, Vicky also communicated her thoughts in the community and at school. During a visit to McDonald’s, Vicky proudly ordered her own Happy Meal with the iPad. She had the biggest smile on her face. The McDonalds server said that how she used this technology was awesome. Victoria is socializing more with others as well. During a visit to the library, she initiated a conversation with a little girl and told her own story (using Proloquo2Go) of the little birds she made last week. It was exciting to see her interacting and with confidence. She carried the iPad with her everywhere. Before leaving home, she would pack her little bag with all the parts to her iPad.
Without this opportunity, we would not have seen the changes in Victoria. She has grown so much during the past two weeks. We knew it was going to be tough on her to give up the iPad after the two weeks were up. Now that she doesn’t have the iPad in her possession, she looks for other things to do, but doesn’t communicate as much. Hopefully, she will get one of her own soon. This has been such a learning experience for our whole family. With the use of this technology and augumentative communication apps, we were able to communicate with Vicky better and she is so much happier.
Would you help Victoria get her own iPod Touch to further her progress in communicating and learning? Every little bit counts!
Thank you!

All funds raised will go towards purchasing a iPod Touch, Otter Box Protector, and Proloquo2go application.
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