Fascilitated communication opened up a whole new field of confidence and widened Kylie’s life in a dramatic way. One of Kylie’s teachers wrote a thesis on Kylie’s response to her newfound ability to communicate through the keyboard. There is a lovely page she wrote about how she longed to speak. We have included this in Kylie’s story.
Kylie’s mother Debbie said Kylie did more than speak with her eyes; she communicated on the computer. I thought the association was more than aware of this. Kylie had a thesis done on her at the Otago University and in it are well documented and proven thoughts that she had. She attended school, she took part in all aspects of school i.e. maths, English etc.
Kylie’s teacher Lynley has written a lovely story about her and her mother Debbie has sent some beautiful photos.
The concept keyboard can be programmed to recognize anything from numbers to colours to letters to words in Māori. The board is divided up into squares. You decide how many squares you need for each letter etc. Then assign all these squares to the letter etc. You then use a piece of A3 paper and transfer the information to it. At the start the squares are best to be a decent size with the letter etc centred on it or even just a colour. Kylie started off with a book about clowns that had different coloured noses, hats etc. I would read the story, then ask questions about it. Like the clown with green pants had a what coloured hat? She would touch purple. I realized quickly that this was all too babyish for her. She had taught herself to read. So we progressed onto spelling the colours. The next day it was work in the class and see what you know. And boy did she know heaps. It was very tiring at the start, all this concentration that was necessary but she just wanted to get everything out. Once the gate was open there was no stopping her. Now all kids are different and you wouldn't expect the same result necessarily with other little girls but nothing ventured nothing gained.
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Sadly Kylie found rest from her busy life ten years ago, however, her spirit and achievements are remembered by all those who loved her.