Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Morning Confessional: What are you feeling guilty about?

On the Good Mom scale, I’d usually give myself an 8. But sometimes, I slip way down. Take the fact that Max got a communication device in August, a Dynavox, and Dave and I have still not really figured out how to use it. This is what it looks like, Max's version has fewer windows:

Basically, you press the picture, a word comes out. The voice is pretty robotic and sometimes sounds all wrong (for example, “milk” comes out as “meeeeelk,” as if the machine is trying to teach Max to sound like a Russian peasant, not on our list of goals). We also tried the Tango, a breakthrough communication device that blew my mind. Max's therapists wanted to go with the above but the Tango's the next device he'll get. What I especially loved about the Tango is that they use real kids' voices, and not one sounded like a Russian peasant.

I am not completely techphobic (hi, blog!), but when I went to the training session at school for the Dynavox I was overwhelmed. Dave, who works in the computer field, spent hours trying to figure the thing out and was similarly foiled. Now he’s supposed to meet with Max’s speech therapist for a private tutorial, but he hasn’t gotten around to making the appointment. HI, HONEY!

Monday Morning Confessional is going to be a regular thing. Join the guiltfest! Get juicy details about how suck-y other people think they are! What's eating away at you today? Eees a goot ting toooo share (my best Russian-peasant-Dynavox imitation).


  1. Ooh, this should be interesting! Today's guilty confession: I was driving my 4 year-old to school this morning. Got caught in a traffic detour, which sent us around in circles (partly my fault) and set me back a very crucial 5 minutes (after drop-off, I race to catch a train to work). And I let this totally wig me out. There I am, racing down side streets spewing expletives when my son, trying to calm me down, says, “It’s okay, Mommy; It okay.” Poor little guy. Not only does he have a stressed-out freak for a mother, but he also wants to make it all better. Ugh! Not my finest “mommy moment.”

  2. What a coincidence! We just got our Dynovox minimo yesterday ;-).
    I don't think our speechy is going to let us be slack about learning how to use it though!
    She's coming to OUR HOUSE on Thur to teach us ;-).
    I am not sure what version Max has, but we can add our own voice to this one. We're probably going to get one of BC's cousins to sit down and record all the entries so that it's a nice familiar boy's voice - but yep, still very staccato sound - go...on..the train (which was BC's first sentence attempt!)

    Back to being guilty, I am guilty that we are not at BC's horseriding RIGHT NOW - but it's a silly guilt, because we're not there because my little Bean REALLY needed to sleep. If we HAD gone, I am sure that I would have felt guilty for dragging him out when he really needed to sleep. In fact, I think the guilt never ends!!! There's always something we SHOULD be doing! In fact, I feel guilty for taking the time to write this when we could be doing some stretches. SIGH!

  3. I just read this book, and if you haven't read it, I would suggest it highly. There is a crapload of stuff about augmentative communication devices - really good info.

    I generally don't feel guilty about little things; I'm good about those. I am religious about going to the gym, getting couple time, concentrating on my work, etc. I reserve guilt for the biggest-ticket item possible: I couldn't fix my kid.

  4. And of course I didn't post the link to the book, sorry, here it is:

  5. Gosh. I couldn't begin to type the super-long list of things I feel guilty about. I'm very hard on myself.

  6. You guys are right, we're so hard on ourselves. I think a lot of moms have that tendency anyway, but it's exacerbated when you have a kid with challenges--you always feel like you could be doing SOMETHING for them. Sarah, thanks for the book recommendation, I love that guy's blog. Let's all give ourselves a big pat on the back (or better yet, a beer!) for being the loving, caring moms that we are. Deal?

  7. Oh dear...what do I feel guilty about? Hmmmmmmmm...

    I feel like my kids live in a dump. I am a horrible housekeeper. Super small house, 3 kids, one dog, one husband. No closets or storage space. Most of our stuff in in boxes in the basement, ready for our phantom move that we have no clue when will happen, but none the less...our house is constantly a mess. Constantly. I would post a picture, but I am way to embarrassed and worried that CPS would be called. Hee Hee. (my attempt at a VERY fake laugh)

  8. I hope you will next consider trying a Prentke Romich (PRC) device. If you read Schuyler's Monster, she uses a Vantage and now their is a more portable device called Vantage Lite. Most appropriate is how the Unity language system reinforces learning language and not just social phrases. The choice now is for a lifetime.

  9. I am searching back through your old stuff and came upon this post and wanted to add my little tid-bit about the Tango. We demo-ed that for Daniel too. I loved the voices and how easy and light it is. Unfortunately when it came to deciding we didnt' go with the Tango because we heard a newer version was coming out soon and it was newer on the market- still had some bugs, but I loved it. Ended up going with the Prentke ECO14 (IF IT EVER GETS APPROVED!!) and we are having different voices (not so Russian or robotic sounding)loaded on it.
    I look forward to reading more about your adventures through the special needs world as we are not too far behind you. Looking for your wisdom! :) Thanks a ton

  10. You may wish to try the DynaVox V or Vmax. It has the best known voices on the market - AT&T Natural Voices, and Acapela Adult & Child Voices. It sounds like you have an older device, which would only have DECtalk.

    The DynaVox V and Vmax outsells every other device combined for good reasons. It is the best for communication speed, literacy development, support, clarity, and durability.



Thanks for sharing!