I'm not sure where you are located and if there are local rules that apply, but where I am my son has a device and the school can require that it remain on campus because it is their equipment. We have purchased our own device though.
My son (11 now) started about 5 years ago on Springboard by Prentke Romich (www.prentrom.com). He was evaluated and the first few evaluations resulted in devices that were very limited. I finally requested an independant evaluation and that got things going in the right direction. Devices can range in price from $200 to $10,000. Prentke does try to assist in finding funding sources.
My son is doing very well. He prefers to verbalize, and we allow him to do so until we cannot make out what he is saying. We will tell him he needs to either spell it out or get his device. People who are not around him as much have a more difficult time understanding him.
This nice thing about some of the devices is that they also teach techonology. Some devices have blue tooth capabilities, others have internet access and email capabilities. It all starts with the evaluation and the communication goals set for your child at school.
One argument is whether or not the communication is a factor in the child's ability to learn. Some parents think there isn't an argument here, but I think that being able to communicate is the single most important factor in a child's life. Being able to participate in school, being able to interact with peers, being able to advocate for him/herself when there is a problem (bully, pain, fear) - all of these require communication.
If you feel that your child is being limited, request another evaluation. If that evaluation, in your opinion, is not adequate, you may have to pay for your own and then present those results to your team.
I actually did a research project regarding this (among others) offensive word. The true meaning of many words become lost when people begin to use them out of context. That is when the usage of such words becomes abusive. If you look up the word "retard" you will see it means "slow to xxx" as in fire retardant. My son is slower to learn many things, and taking the word in this context I am not offended.
The word is now slang and is used to "put down" people who are not disabled. It is and outright mockery of a group of people who continue to be the butt of jokes and offensive comments because they are easy targets and are not as readily capable of defending themselves. I have heard over and over "I didn't mean it in terms of your son" - yeah, yeah... whatever. So if it is not meant to offend my son, but some one else's son... makes no difference. It is just another form of hatred. JMHO... And - I would like a personal apology from now on. The token calls to the Special Olympics is getting old!
Hey Stacy... will be praying for the "all clear"! You little man has been through a lot! (and so have you!!) He is already an uncle and has faced more challenges than many do in an entire lifetime. Let's hope he is all done with this craziness
I feel lucky that I just caught up on this last night... what a rollercoaster!! When things calm down some, can someone post what happened? I read about the strep, then toxic shock... but still unclear. That's how I operate... need the details thanks! I've called friends and family for prayer support, and some have called back for an update - cool, huh? So we are continuing to pray for a full recovery
Only 600 pics?! CC - I can so relate We spent 10 days there in 2008 and 2009. We also had passes for Disneyland here in Cali. Ryan is a huge Disney fan just like your guy. Our passes have expired, and we have no plans for Orlando so I'm not sure how long we are going to get away with that!