If It Wasn’t For My Nana


We’ve had a LOT of ups and downs and I’m not too ashamed to admit, we’ve had a lot more downs than ups. It doesn’t help that I HATE asking for help. It just really really makes me uncomfortable. Especially with money.

With my Nana, I never had to ask. She ALWAYS offered. I tried to turn her down a lot, but she never let me. She helped us out a lot. So, we tried to help out when we could to try to make up for it… Fixing a lawn mower here, helping with her truck there… Someday I hope to pay her back for all that she had done for us.

But one of the biggest things she ever did for us was getting the kids a Kindle.

“You know I saw one of those Kindles on TV! Do you think one of those would help the boys??”

“I don’t know Nana, they wouldn’t know how to work one if you did… and I don’t want you to spend the extra money if they don’t end up liking it.”

“Well, if they don’t like it, you guys could use it!”

“Yeah…. but….”

“We’ll call it an early Christmas present.”

She always did that… said she wouldn’t get us things for Christmas or a Birthday since she was getting us something else right now. But she did anyway.

I also had reservations, because I didn’t want to be “That” parent. The one who got their kids things that they didn’t really need, had zombies that didn’t actually do anything but be on devices, or have the 6 year old with a cell phone… they should be outside playing, not watching TV and playing video games.

Only……. my kids didn’t know how to “play” outside. Our version of “playing” outside…. was taking walks. Once the walk was over though, it was time to go inside. There was no “we took our walk, now lets play in the mud or with trucks”.

The boys loved their movies, especially after they regressed. I think it has something to do with the fact that they are predictable. They could watch the same movie over and over and over, and they were happy with that because they KNEW what was going to happen. For someone who can’t understand what anyone is saying, never knows what’s going on… something predictable for them is comforting and calming.

Tyler ended up loving the games and apps and they both loved that their movies could go to their rooms or while they’re climbing on the counters. lol It was a huge blessing. We still restricted their time on them. We were already getting a lot of grief about them watching TV while they ate or had it on as background noise (therapists thought that it would hinder their speech). Eventually Nana got us another one… so both the boys could have their own (they fought like CRAZY over the first one).

Then I got an iPad mini for myself when we finally had the money to do things like that… which, of course, Tyler fell in love with, so eventually we got a shock proof case and it ended up being the kids tablet.

After all the devices and all the tablets we’ve tried out there, our favorite is the iPad. The game types, the apps, iTunes for their movies ( you can go to chapters, see a picture of the beginning of that chapter and select it), is actually how Justin learned to control the device on his own (he couldn’t figure it out on the kindle and would get extremely upset).

NOW we’re using the First Nouns App with both of them on the iPad! Tyler can look at a word and recognise that it means the correct corresponding picture! Justin, for the first time ever, is using the app to match pictures! He NEVER played with the games/apps on ANY of the devices.

For a long, long, long time… I thought that my kids might not ever talk… that I might not ever hear their voices (that weren’t just screams and babbling). But after a year of Tyler using the iPad to watch his favorite (educational) TV shows more often that he had before, and then starting to watch clips on youtube (of the ABC’s, Shapes, colors, numbers), he can say and is now recognizing more words  than I can even count!!!

 He’s still non-verbal but I’d consider him more “preverbal” now than completely non-verbal.

Neither of them can tell me what they want, they still can’t understand me if I ask them a question, when they’re in pain they can’t tell me why or what hurts… and I still have never heard them tell me “I Love you”.

But because of these devices and these apps… I have hope for my kids that they will be able to live to their full potential.

I’m more than sure we would have EVENTUALLY gotten devices to help with the kids… but there would have been so many more grocery trips, outings, the 2,000 mile drive from PA to Texas… so many things that would have been a lot harder had we not had them. They probably wouldn’t be as far advanced as they are now if they hadn’t had them when they did. 🙂

And all of that has happened because of my Nana.


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