Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Loud and Clear!

As most of you know we have been working with Juliana on a new communication system called PODD (Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display) that we learned about in New York and I'm so glad to say it is going so well.  It has literally opened up a whole new world for us.  What we have done now is transferred her entire book onto her eye gaze computer.  It took me about a month to program it, but it has been so worth it.  The cool thing about having the book on her computer is two things: 1. She can navigate independently and 2. she can explore and play with it to discover what buttons mean in a way she can't with the book.  Don't get me wrong, the book is still super important because it's much more portable, requires no batter or electricity and never freezes on us.  And yes, I have tried desperately to get her using them on film, but a. she does not perform on demand and b. once she sees the camera she stops what she's doing to smile.  So we will keep trying on that aspect but I wanted to share some of the super cool things she's told us in the last month:

  • She informed us she DOES indeed like dresses.  About 2 years ago Omi got her a super foo foo dress for Easter and she was miserable.  Then for her birthday that same year we got her a big foo foo Minnie Mouse dress and she was so miserable she threw up on the dress. So WE decided Juliana doesn't like dresses.  Turns out she does - just not the super foo foo dresses.
  • She informed us her favorite color is Pink!  For reasons unbeknownst to me, we decided some time ago that she didn't like pink and that she was more of a purple girl.  We were wrong!
  • She has serious opinions about her food.  I can now read her the options at a restaurant, then ask her yes or no for each choice and she will tell me what she wants.
  • She shared with Roger the other day that she only like Mickey Mouse a little bit but now prefers Little Einsteins, Imagination Movers or Backyardigans!  This is huge - I had no idea she was moving on!
  • She wants to be Annie from Little Einsteins!  This is so cute because there are two girls on the show; June is the dancer and Annie is the singer.  Well Olivia always declares that she is June because she loves to dance, so Olivia asked her if she would be Annie and she gave her a huge YES!
  • When her friend Marisa was leaving one day she managed to say Goodbye with her computer!
  • When she was fussy one day I got her book and she was able to tell me she needed to go to the bathroom!
  • She is now choosing all her activities from what she wants to play, what book to read or what to watch on tv.
  • One day I turned the tv off and she raised her hand, so I brought her book over to her and asked her what she wanted to say.  We scanned all the pictures and she chose "Uh Oh!" because I had turned off her tv. 
  • On her computer she has learned how to get to the tv page. To do that she has to navigate through 4 levels of pages but she gets it every time and will repeat "watch tv" over and over until either you put it on or sternly tell her it's not tv time.
  • She has been telling us "I love you " with her computer!
  • And this one was kind of cool.  We were eating pizza.  I had cut both hers and Olivia's into pieces and Marisa was feeding her.  So she starts to tell Marisa "Don't touch" So Marisa just tells her I have to touch you silly, I'm feeding you.  She continues saying "Don't Touch" So we are all guessing what does she not want her to touch?  Her food?  Then she says "I want to do what the others are doing".  So we look around and everyone is eating. . . . . But they are eating with a fork!  Eureka!  She doesn't want Marisa to TOUCH her food!  She wants to be fed with a fork!!!!!  So we got one out and she quite saying that!  I know to some that may not mean a lot but to us it was HUGE!!!!! 
So we will continue on this awesome communication journey!  I can't wait to hear what else she wants to tell us!  And I promise to try to get some on video!


  1. This is AMAZING! I got goosebumps reading your entire post. I can't wait to hear what else J has to say. :)

  2. WOW! That is truly amazing! You guys are doing a wonderful job!

  3. I am so proud of you Juju. You are working so hard everyday. You are a precious 4 year old, almost 5. I adore you and your progress is wonderful. I love you, A. Gale