Tuesday, March 29, 2011

'I'm happy'

The two-hour session to craft a bit of a vision for Ben's future is coming up.

We're using a tool called Passport, developed by Community Living. I like its concepts. Sections include My Story; The Suitcase (the positive qualities the person brings); The Scroll (current supports), The Globe (the person's dream of what a good life will look like); The Yield Sign (barriers); An Action Plan; and The Road (the people who will offer support).

I want Ben to contribute to the discussion so thought I'd set up these sections on his communication software on the iPad.

Recently, Ben has made it clear that he's not interested in using the Proloquo. He's deleted the software a number of times and when encouraged to use it, says "it's boring." After all my efforts to get this functional, I think I need to rethink his options for expression.

But yesterday, I realized the Proloquo may be a neat way to have him contribute to the planning day. I created a "My story" category and asked him: "What would it be important for people to know about you?"

"I'm happy," he signed. So I typed in 'I'm' and he typed in 'happy' and I asked him to choose a photo that would go with this description.

He immediately clicked on the pic above of him fishing at camp.

I know he's not always happy, and his disabilities cause him great frustration and anxiety. But my heart lightened thinking that he still views himself -- overall -- as a happy person.

Maybe this process will yield other surprising results.



You have to teach me how to sign, "I'm happy" Moreover, I remember three of the four signs you already taught me. For instance, I recall yes, no, and thank you. However, what does it mean when one makes a fist and moves it from left to right accoss their mouth --if it's "Your welcome", I'm going to die of laughter?

Matt Kamaratakis

I love the way you engaged Ben in using Proloquo. He chose the perfect picture to describe his happiness!
Did you know that you can set your iPad so that he can not delete apps? It is under restrictions in the settings menu.


I just had a great idea --or what I think to be a great idea? I could teach Ben to write full sentences using his favorite pictures. For example, we ask what each photo means to him? Then, we teach him how to write a sentence. So, "I'm happy" becomes "I was happy fishing at camp."

Nonetheless, learning how to spell "fishing" may be difficult, so we will break down the word into fish-ing or fi-sh-ing.


Hi Louise,
I was touched by this post and the picture that Ben chose. I keep a picture on my desk taken a long time ago from a hike that my brother and I took; it helps me remember a day when I felt the way I would wish anyone to feel. I hope that Ben has a lot of days like that in his life.

I hope you all are well.