In January 2016 we awarded a grant to Jessica, a young adult with Angelman Syndrome. The grant was to fund two iPads – one sturdy iPad Pro for Jessica to use at home and one iPad mini to use when she is out and about with her mother.
Here is an update from Jessica’s mother telling us how she is progressing…
“A huge THANK YOU to you all and to everyone who kindly supported Jessica’s campaign.
This is what Jessica has been up to this year…
At the beginning of 2017, Jessica enjoyed the wonderful experience of participating in an all-ability inclusive music collective that brings together disabled and non-disabled musicians to make and create music using a mixture of traditional instruments, music technology and singing. Here she met Community Musician Gary Day, Director of Garden of Music, who specialises in delivering music making opportunities and music education for children & adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Exciting news, Gary is currently working with Jessica 1:1 to develop her music making through the iPads using assistive music technology (AMT) and using Sounds of Intent (SOI) to support musical development.
During these sessions, we have discovered that Jessica has a real love of the trumpet which she plays through an app called ’ThumbJam’.
It is fascinating to watch Jessica on the iPads and I love how she uses both hands to experiment with trumpet sounds and play some very interesting and tuneful music – see video!
In the video Jessica is finding a song from another app, “Kids Sound Machine”, for us all to sing along to. Her fine motor skills and eye/hand coordination have greatly improved for instance, being able to use one finger with precision.
Jessica has become very dexterous at navigating her way around the iPads working out how to swipe and spin and get in and out of apps.
Jessica is clearly demonstrating her preferences by selecting favourite apps to play, explore and interact with, giving her a sense of self-autonomy and independence as well as delight. Also emerging are her communication skills.
An example of this is Proloquo2Go, an assistive communication app, which I am currently modelling around the words to ‘talk’ about the things that Jessica does each day and familiarise her with the symbols.
It is so exciting particularly discovering little sentences, the best so far on the morning I caught Jessica with a big bar of cooking chocolate, which she had watched me put in the cupboard earlier!
She had tapped in…”what have have, see see see see see see see see see see see see it get it get can can it it can it get like like like”.
I cannot express how fantastic it feels to have an insight into Jessica’s thoughts and working out for herself that she could get the chocolate bar!!
Consequently, she escaped a ticking off for devouring a huge chocolate bar and was slightly perplexed as to why she was receiving tons of praise for getting up to mischief!
With gratitude and thanks for your incredible generosity.”