Monday, May 30, 2011

In a New York Minute. . . . .

I can't believe that it's only been a week since we were in NYC.  For those that don't know, Roger and I had the pleasure of attending a workshop at the Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx to learn of a method of communication for Juliana.  We had an amazing time! (Side note - on this trip I also discovered that I over use the word "amazing".  Currently looking for a replacement word.  Suggestions welcome)

Our flight out was a bit of a pain in the butt.  Apparently the door to our plane had some difficulty so after we were all boarded and buckled in we had to de-plane and wait for a replacement.  This pretty much sucked because we had plans in NYC.  Our friends, the Gutierrez' were having a "Dareoke" fundraiser for Girl Power 2 Cure.  Better late than never.  We had a blast.  No singing but lots of dancing.  So much dancing that I accidentally flung my flip camera across the bar (ok, so maybe lots of drinks too) and shattered the lens:(  I guess it's a minor casualty to a fun grown up night out.

Gutierrez, Shuberts & Brooks'
Here are the super stars singing "You're Just to Good to Be True"

And this beauty was our requested song "Dancing Queen"

So after that fun night it was time to hit the books the next day in class.  We learned so much, but more of that to come later. 

We had a delicious dinner that night at the Gutierrez' home - but of course completely forgot to take out a camera the whole night.  Here we are in Time Square.  I can't believe it's always this busy!

Here we are after the second day of training.  This is truly an amazing group of women: (From left to right) Dr. Djukic, Stefanie, me, Jenn, Kelly, Suzanna and Monica
 After class we walked around a bit before heading for dinner and guess who we ran into. . . . yes, the naked cowboy!
 We had dinner in Little Italy and then dessert at Chocolate by the Bald Man with my college room mate Gina and her beautiful family. Again no camera:(

Okay - now onto the good stuff.  We attended an introductory workshop on P.O.D.D. (Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display).  The most basic way to describe this is a book of language.  Below are some pictures of some of the pages to give you an idea.  And I had seen these icons used in different ways, but it's not the same thing.  This is a completely organized system of language.  This is beyond just using icons to make requests like "I hungry" or "Me tired".  This can be used to form complete thoughts and sentences.  Juliana will use eye gaze to scan the pictures and communicate her thoughts.  Some pictures branch to other pages in a natural rhythm of language.  It's really hard to explain with out showing you, so my goal is that we start video taping Juliana in her journey to communication.  She is already doing very well in only one week.  We have been modeling the way to use it and she has been very interested.  So, stay tuned for more on this awesome system of communication and hopefully video as well.  And for those of you wondering, "What about the amazing eye gaze computer you just got?"  Well, this entire book can be transferred to her computer.  The paper book will serve to give her a visual as to how to branch to and get to what she wants to say. It is a slower process than her computer that zooms from one page to another.  The slower process will let her see how she got there.   Also, the paper book is a great back up to use if her computer goes down or if we are in a place where we can't use her computer.

 The icons that have numbers indicate to turn to that page, where there will be more icons on that topic.

And on a final note - I want to say a HUGE HUGE thank you to Dr. Djukic who continues to work tirelessly for our girls.  I don't know where we would be with out you!  Thank you for helping find Juliana's voice, I know she has a great deal to say!


  1. Wow the New York Trip was amazing for sure. So glad it went well. The new things for Juju are wonderful. I love the pictures.

  2. awww we miss you guys!!!! always so fun when we get together. my quote book will have to wait for the next goodie from roger. ;) xoxo