Giving Voice to Kids and Their Families: Meet Ian

Ian is an energetic 4 year old interested in toys, snacks, and his older brother. Ian was born with Cytomegalovirus (CMV), but his father wasn’t worried. Ian’s parents are both speech language pathologists and “everything we’d done in our lives had prepared us to care for Ian,” said his father, Adam.

Before utilizing the technology from Control Bionics, specifically the NeuroNode, Ian’s parents would be mostly guessing what Ian wanted. “We sort of knew in general what he may be wanting to eat or what toy he might want,” said Ian’s mother, but if the toy wasn’t in the room or the snack wasn’t already out they had a hard time deciphering Ian’s preferences.

With the NeuroNode, Ian uses spatial activation to move his arm and select what his eyes are looking at on the screen to communicate. What Ian’s mother, Lynette, likes about the technology is that it isn’t limited to one type of access. “If he were to change his development or needs we could change it to electromyography,” she told us.

The NeuroNode is also a small switch that moves with you, allowing it to be placed on different parts of the body. “If we wanted to change the location of the switch we could use it on his eyebrow, if he wanted to raise his eyebrow to activate. We could use it on his leg and it can grow and change as he grows and changes,” said Lynette.

She recalls the first time he said “mom” with the NeuroNode, “I definitely cried. It was just amazing to know that he wanted me around and that he was able to let me know that.”

Adam sums up their experience with the NeuroNode Trilogy this way, “AAC, at the end of the day, is cumbersome, it’s hard. And all of this has been fairly easy to be honest, and that’s taking our background out of it. As a family, as parents, it has been, like I said, just exceptional. We got the road ahead of us, and it’s been made a lot easier with Control Bionics.”

Watch the full video here.

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