A different kind of report card

aI just received Lily’s progress report from her amazing after-school therapist Elaine, who is a speech language pathologist and Tobii/PODD expert.  Here are a few exerpts from the report:

  • Lily is a very sweet four-year-old girl who is learning to use an alternative means of communication due to her severe motor planning challenges.
  • Lily is not able to use speech or her hands as a functional means of communication.
  • Lily is using a high tech communication device (Tobii I-12 series device + eye gaze access) and a low tech communication book with partner assisted access (PODD communication books).
  • Lily is starting to develop her underlying communication skills (i.e. joint attention skills, alternating attention skills, eye contact, imitation skills both verbal and physical).
  • Lily continues to rely primarily on her caregivers anticipation of what she needs but she has been starting to imitate models of how she can request needs independently on her SGD.
  • Lily’s behaviors have significantly improved. She is much more regulated throughout sessions and does not rely on music as a form of comfort to soothe her when she is upset.
  • Lily is starting to participate more consistently during session activities and she can sit and attend for longer periods of time, 10-15 minutes without a break.
  • Through direct observation throughout our sessions Lily has demonstrated the ability to identify objects, discriminate objects from a field of up to 12 symbols per page, identify caregivers, greet “hi”, reject activities “no” , “finish”, request more of an activity, identify animals.
  • Lily has been able to initiate and carry out her responses to verbal directions much more consistently.
  • Lily has been able to follow the directions: “Stand”, “Sit”, “Open”, “look at me”, “let’s go to the kitchen”, “take the spoon” and “wave goodbye”.
  • Lily is currently able to follow verbal directions 3/10 times on average each session.
  • It is important to note that Lily’s difficulties with carrying out directions are due to motor planning difficulties not because she cannot understand what is being asked of her.

We still have a ways to go, but I’m confident that my kid is going to blow everyone away with her brilliance one day soon.


C and L



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