Eye Gaze

This is Daniel using his eye gaze system:

Trial Eco Eyepoint

Isn’t he amazing at it??!!

This video kinda points out the issue with Nathan. He is a whiz at getting around the eye gaze system, he totally “gets it” and uses it the way he wants to use it.

But when we try to do what Daniel is doing – “testing him” by answering questions – Nathan rarely responds. I am 100% sure it’s not because he doesn’t know the answers – it’s mostly because he simply doesn’t want to comply. I think the Dynavox is the first opportunity at “controlling” his environment, so he doesn’t want to give up the only control he has by doing what is asked of him.

For example, I know for SURE that Nathan knows what a gun is. He LOVES to play with guns. If I ask him, Nathan, do you want to play with your guns? He immediately looks right at his guns and smiles. But if I show him a gun and ask him to find it on the screen, he will rarely pick it.

We are starting behavioral intervention to try and find ways of motivating him to answer our questions.

But I have to confess…part of me doesn’t even want to. Why not let him have his control? Why do we need to test him anyways? The only reason is for the sake of the school district and their need for “measurable outcomes”. When it comes to Nathan’s quality of life – I don’t really care if he answers “Horse” when I show him a picture of a horse! How is this going to improve his life? However, him entertaining himself by flying through the device, turning on the TV, asking me questions, doing whatever he wants to do with it – I think this will help him so much more in the long run.

Anyways, I wanted to share another example of a child using an eye gaze system, and share some of the difficulties we face when working with the device.

Isn’t Daniel a cutie??!!


  1. Ryland has been doing pretty good with his. We have it so he has to look at the picture longer for it to talk, his ST said it would help. I problem I have at home is Vera wants to play with it also. Also we need to get Ryland a new tomato seat and I hoping that will help him sit better. We can get his wheelchair in the house, it’s kind of heavy. He’s ST is having Nascar gofish being made up for him so he’s got another game to play. He’ fav game now is a ducky game we have.
    I’m still trying to figure everything out with it, it just takes so much time to do it and I really don’t have alot of time on my hands.
    Last night we let him choose what colors he wanted for Easter eggs.
    I’m going to get a page made before we go the Hospital.
    He loves talking with us. I just wish I knew what he could hear. Still don’t understand how they let that slip threw the cracks.
    Hugs for Nathan, HoPE he’s back to himself soon. We finally are getting Ryland back and it been over a year since his surgery

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