Maggie is enjoying one all of her Christmas gifts. The cozy blanket from Fely, the beautiful clothes, etc. One gift, however, has her completely entranced. Santa brought Maggie her very own Ipod shuffle. That means Maggie can listen to her own music in her own room at her own pleasure and not bogart her mom’s Ipod and hog all of the music. Of course Maggie cannot really handle earphones, so she also received a player for the Ipod. Santa is a bit of an old fogey, however, and he did not realize that a shuffle doesn’t’ really work that well with a player. It works, but it is far from optimal. We have some kinks to work out.
The most obvious problem is the shuffle mode itself. Maggie needs to hear certain songs and this shuffle business means there may be other less important songs before Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” or Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” These other songs are merely noise and need to be dealt with summarily. If she doesn’t like the song, or if she simply prefers something else, she slams her hand down on her tray as if to shout NO - TAKE THIS AWAY. We are doing a lot of skipping, and there is no way to tell where her favorite songs are on the playlist. I need to set the playlist into a specific order and then set the shuffle accordingly. On the other hand, she is overjoyed and astonished when she likes a song and then ANOTHER great song comes on in random order.
Another problem is the player. Santa did not realize he bought a battery operated player. By the end of the first afternoon the batteries needed changing. Fortunately, we are using rechargeable batteries, but I think a player upgrade may be in the works. On the other hand, because there is no cord, we can put the thing anywhere, including her bed. Maggie finds this a wonderful feature. She will be able to scroll through the list herself in no time. In these pictures you can see her gauging how far the player is from her and then reaching for it.
I am positive we can rig this up to her dynavox, I just have to figure out how to make it work with her switches. It looks like the interface is the same. In fact, her dynavox has an MP3 player built in. However, if Maggie’s music is part of her talker, that will be ALL she will do. Schoolwork and general conversation will be eliminated as she listens to Beyonce nonstop. When Tim was setting up Maggie’s Ipod on my existing Itunes account, he noticed that All the Single Ladies had been played 394 times. Most of my favorite songs had about 15 plays. That is easily explained. Maggie has been using my Ipod for months now. I was surprised the number was only 394. I asked Tim if that number was per month and he laughed, but I wasn’t kidding; that song plays constantly in this house. I sit here at work and she asks me to play her music, and I always comply. I type in rhythm with various pop songs.
Once we figure out how to get Maggie to access the IPOD on her own, she will be just like other teenagers. She can sit in her room, listen to her music and ignore us. Except that she’s never alone and needs to be suctioned every few minutes.
Other than that, though it will be just the same