For years, Kim and Jason Bannworth, had to guess what their son Brendon wanted.
He doesn’t use words to communicate and would often point to things. But it wasn’t always easy to figure out what he was trying to say.
So the first time he was able to use his iPad to say he was tired and wanted to go to bed, was huge for their entire family, Kim said.
“It was the first time we knew how he felt,” she said. “He’s really taken off with it.”
Brendon, 6, was born with neurofibromatosis type 1, a genetic disorder that affects the skin, eyes and nervous system. He is developmentally delayed and doesn’t use words to communicate.
His pediatrician helped his parents connect to the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ Early Intervention program and Brendon began speech therapy and the process of learning to walk.
“(The Board has) really helped us out a lot,” Kim said. “We wouldn’t have known about all these resources.”
Their LCBDD team helped the Bannworths navigate the school enrollment process and Brendon started preschool at Cherry Valley Elementary two years ago.
There, Speech Language Pathologist Allison Hendrickson suggested that he would have success using an iPad with the LAMP Words For Life app as a communication device.
The Bannworths used Family Support Services (FSS) funds from LCBDD to purchase the iPad and app.
“We got the app and it just took off from there,” Kim said.
Now Kim and Jason tell Brendon to “go get your words,” when he has something to tell them.
He’s able to show them all the things he’s learned in kindergarten, including videos about colors and shapes.
He knows his numbers and the letters of his name and can use his iPad to ask for milk or to play outside.
Walking outside is one of Brendon’s favorite things and he loves checking out cars, being in the wind and playing in the rain.
When he’s inside, he loves to watch commercials as well as his favorite shows, “Bluey” and “Blues Clues.”
Kim and Jason said they are excited to see him learn more words and have conversations using his iPad. They are thrilled to see how far he’s come and are excited to see him continue to learn.