The LAMP App

A week ago this Friday, we received a new communication device. After many attempts to get this device from the school district, we finally received it. I took about 4 hours of online videos to try to understand how it works. The app is called LAMP. At first, I was very excited. I want to take advantage of the monkey’s current phase in understanding. He just listens and follows direction so much more. Hes doing amazing. This is why I pushed for the device. The time to take capture on his communication is now.

But when I saw the app, I was very nervous. You see the monkey has used a prior app, but it only has about 15 buttons, and all of them he already knows. However, the LAMP app has pronouns and verbs and you need to press a few buttons to get to the one that you need. I was very nervous. It is overwhelming at first glance and I just didn’t think the monkey would benefit from this.

The first weekend we tried so much for him to use it, and he hated it. It was a constant fight for him to use it. I was struggling with this: It shouldn’t be a fight; he should think of it as his voice. But it was a weekend full of tantrums and crying.

But when Monday evening came along, his attitude changed. His teacher told us she would keep reminding him that this is his voice, and we saw the change. That evening we noticed he would use his iPad without us reminding him to use it. As soon as he wanted something, he would go straight to his iPad all on his own. ❤️

We are learning how to use it together. He still gets stuck sometimes and when new words are needed, I have to search for it. Each day I add a little more. At first he would simply press a few buttons. For example, he would press the button “car” which is his way of saying car ride. But as of yesterday, he will press: I want car ride please. And he catches on this so quickly when I introduce new buttons.

I step back and think about how long it took us to get here. Many times we would take him to private speech therapy and how most of those times we felt it was pointless. We didn’t see any change and thus we thought we were wasting our time and money. He would hate going. He would try to hit us and the therapists. But we kept at it even though we didn’t think it was helping; wven if we didn’t see any results.

And now we see the giant leaps the monkey is taking. We can now see all of those therapies were forming a foundation. The first big step is the fact that he understands that he can communicate with us. This step has taken a lot of years to get to. And now he gets it. Something clicked inside of him and he now know that if he can communicate his needs, then we can understand him. And second, he is able to follow the steps needed to get to his words.

I remember seeing kiddos on the spectrum using a communication device a few years back. I would always think that this would never be us, simply because our son was just not there.

But now we are here. And I am so grateful.

Yesterday the monkey grabbed a juice and then went upstairs. My husband called out his name. He comes out of his room and looks at my husband. My husband says: “You need to close the refrigerator door buddy; you can’t leave it open.” The monkey then comes downstairs and closes the door and goes right back upstairs to his room. Wow. Simply wow.

This may seem so simple. We told him to close the door and he did. But in our household, these are huge leaps. He understood and followed thru. He didnt need hand holding or anything. He understood. And I am just so thankful.

I reached out to the monkey’s teacher last week letting her know that I was a bit nervous with the new app due to how overwhelming it looked. She replied:

He is able to recognize between nouns and verbs in the classroom. We need to have high expectations for him. He will surprise us. Consistency is key and, in the classroom, we will try writing since that is what he is enjoying the most. We will plan out a lesson with icons used when writing. He has difficulty generalizing with home and school so maybe you can try using snacks or hugs to help him understand the purpose of communication device. We spoke to him about the device being his voice and he has to use it at home and at school. I am hoping talking to him every day will also help with his progress. He is doing great at school academically. He is writing independently now and watches what I write on the board. Teacher L also provides assistance by using dry erase marker to write samples on the table for him. We will help him achieve greatness and he will get there. We all will have faith for him. Thank you, Ms. P

I am speechless. How does one say thank you for loving your child so much? For the unconditional support?

My husband has always said if a child is loved, they can do anything. And this kiddo is loved.
I can’t wait to see what the future will bring for us.


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