July was good to us! Christmas came early for Elise and she got her new Convaid stroller and Tobii communication device!!
Since January we have used the running stroller almost every day. It has been a life saver and has helped in so many different situations. However we realized that if we used it at the rate we are now it won't last us as long as we had hoped.
In February Elise started physical therapy (PT). It was something I've been meaning to get her in but hadn't gotten around to it. After starting at a new facility for OT, the PT there dropped in on a session and said she'd love to put Elise on her schedule! She only had a couple openings and one happened to work with our schedule. After Elise's second session she told me we could qualify for a stroller through Medicaid. There are some things that we work and work relentlessly on with Elise and other times Heavenly Father places things into our laps. The latter is what happened with her PT who has been a huge asset to Elise's progress and getting us a stroller.
The stroller came in July. It already has been a blessing and the answer to our stroller problem. It is considered a wheelchair but is more like a larger and sturdier umbrella stroller. We will use it for parks, stores, and just everyday stuff. The other stroller will be more for recreation: running, biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing. We love to get Elise out of the house as much as possible and she loves being outside so both of these strollers will help her be able to do those things.
A couple weeks after her stroller came, Elise's new communication device arrived. We used to use an iPad with a communication app on it. It worked well but beginning of the summer the iPad ended up twice in the water. The first time it survived getting thrown in the bathtub but the second time it was thrown in the washing machine and wasn't quite so lucky! After those incidences along with some other things we realized realistically iPads weren't going to work for Elise or us. We'd be replacing them every year or two.
Her new speech pathologist had suggested months before that we switch to the Tobii device. I was hesitant about making the change but after learning that Medicaid would cover the cost and they were the best devices for Rett kids I began the paperwork to get her qualified. I love this device because it is solely a communication device, not a toy. Elise knows that is her voice and is how she tells us what she wants. I love that the setup is so easy. I also love that it has the capability for eye gaze. If in the future her hand use worsens and direct select finger pointing isn't accurate anymore then Elise could talk to us with her eyes instead. It's the same program, just a different mode of how to speak.
I'm continually amazed at how we are guided and led as parents and caregivers to what Elise needs. I see it all the time. We aren't left alone in knowing how to care for her. Little by little we are guided to certain therapists or are led to know what to do for her. These two new therapists and what they've helped us get have all been a huge blessing for us and Elise!
I LOVE being a mom to my 5 kids; one with special needs. There is no greater joy than being a parent! I love each one individually but this blog will mostly focus on our daughter with special needs and our journey with her. Thanks for reading!