Monday, May 16, 2011


Well we camped out at the front door for a little over a week (actually a shorter period of time than I expected!)

Then around 4 p.m. on Thursday Mr. Fed Ex guy came and knocked on our door!  Talk about jumping for joy.  I knew immediately what it was - Daniel just saw a box and figured it was for him because that's the way it usually goes so he was excited either way!

But then when I opened it up and started pulling it out, his eyes got real big!  It wasn't in our house for more than 15 minutes before it was unlocked from shipping mode and calibrated to his eyes.  Add on two more minutes for me getting it hooked up the the table top/floor mount and Daniel was "talking" up a storm!  I damn near cried.  

After a very very very log process (over a year) and quite a few sleepless nights by myself AND his speech therapist (Ms. Pat), we got what Daniel needed--correction, we got what he deserved, what he rightfully should have, what he PROVED he could do--he got his voice!

I have never met a company that was so very willing to help us each step of the way as PRC is.  From the Sales Rep for Michigan - Gabe, who is willing to bend over backwards to help with programming, and getting things sets up, to training.  Yes I KNOW its his job and you might say he is just doing his job, but its far more than that in my eyes - he CARES - he talks to Daniel, shakes his hand every time he sees him, asks him how he's doing.  He just ROCKS.  He has dropped stuff off at our house, and he has even come out to Grand Rapids when we were there.  He has hooked us up with other people who can help us out along the way....just above what a sales rep has to do.

Then the group at the office of PRC in Ohio - from financing, help desk,  upgrades to shipping & receiving.  I have not met anyone on the phone or email for that matter who has not been more than helpful.  Through the whole process that Daniel's device was there getting upgraded they kept me up to date through email, sending me the tracking information when it shipped!  

I actually spoke last week with a woman who was very disappointed because they purchased an AAC device for their daughter that has the eye gaze technology with DynaVox.  Now mind you I am not badmouthing DynaVox, I have seen many children use it and it works wonderfully for them.  And I am happy that it does.  What is good for one child does not mean its good for another child.  All I am saying is make sure to check all your avenues.  The mom said she tested out the PRC ECO2 w/eye point and had success but because the school district she is in had more experience with the DynaVox they went that route figuring if she could use the eye gaze with one it would be the same with the other company.  Unfortunately she found out after the fact, the camera on the DynaVox that reads the pupil is not as big and strong as the ECO2.  While the DynaVox is good for a child with good head control, it is not great for a child who tilts the head or has the spastic movement.  The camera in the DynaVox has to have two pupils to read and they have to pretty straight and level, not so with the ECO2. It can read just one pupil, your head can be tilted or pretty much upside down for that matter!
So sadly to say the mom is trying to sell her device to get something that will work for her kiddo.  The reason I am telling you all in hopes that you realize before its too late and a mistake is made.  Do your research, test EVERYTHING out, and make sure you are getting what your child needs.  We originally went with the ECO a couple years ago because the touch sensitivity of the screen was much lighter for Daniel's touch, and the overall screen area was larger so he could have more area to select with larger buttons (8 cells to the screen).  We are now working on 45 cells with the EyePoint, I don't think it will be long before we are moved up to more cells.  But for now, I am happy to have expanded his choices in conversation by 37 cells!

He is already jabbering all the time, since we've gotten it he tells me what he wants to watch on TV, what he wants to play with, tells me in the car that I am driving to slow, that there is a red light, the colors of the trucks and cars that are going by - and that the big semi that drove by was "stinky".  He has greeted people that come into the house - his hairdresser that comes over to cut his hair - and he even asked her if she would cut his hair.  She was tickled pink,AND when she answered him back, he was equally as excited.  He has also said hello to Aunt Ann when she came over.  He was able to Skype with his sister Brittany who is at college.  It is all very wonderful and emotional.  I know - silly to get emotional over Daniel sitting in the backseat telling me the truck is stinky - but yep, that's me;  the weeping lady in the car driving!  And he is as much of a backseat driver as my daughters!

There isn't anymore guessing on what he is saying...
I don't think I can program pages fast enough for him to tell me all the things he has been trying to tell us for the past 5 years!


james said...

That is totally amazing! I love it! He's a star student at eye gaze isn't he!!!! Way to go daniel pretty soon he will be giving you attitude and you will love that too. That is so fabulous!!!!!!

Sherry C said...

opps that was my comment above now my ten year old has gmail it's a problem.

C said...

Not silly at all! I'm tearing up reading about it. Go Daniel and his awesome mama. :o)

Anonymous said...

we want video ASAP, though may be more difficult with an opinionated kiddo on your hands:)

Kara said...

That is sooooo awesome Daniel!! Where do I sign up!! I am so happy for your guys! Great job researching huge!! Keep us posted!

janeo said...

I am so thankful for you blog. I am also so thankful that anyone who meets your son will get to see and hear his thoughts and humor. Good Luck with your journey. You are in great hands with Gabe.

Kristina said...

We just got Emma's Eco2 with ECOpoint and are so excited! We are in the "setting up" mode right now. I noticed you said Daniel is using his system to talk to you in the car. How do you mount it for his talking in the car? Also, could you share a bit more on how you started him talking with it, how you incorporate it into your day (such as do you take it room to room, use in bathroom, etc.) logistically? I'd be truly appreciative as we want Emma to talk so badly with this talker!