Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Friday, November 08, 2019

Using Goally to Gain Independence

Hello everyone!

It is time to resurrect this blog. Lots of things are happening here in the Spring household, and I know  many of you have been wondering what's happening with us. I have several update posts coming in the next few days. Today's post is one I'm really excited about!

First of all, can you believe Angela is 23 now? I know, right? When I started this blog in June 2005, Angela was just 9 years old! Here she is, all grown up.

One thing at the top of Angela's "to do" list is move out. SHE really wants to live in her own apartment, with some supports. WE aren't so sure she's ready for it. One problem we have seen individuals run into is signing a one year lease on an apartment only to find they weren't *quite* ready, and needed to gain some skills before giving it another try. There is an agency in our area that does one week apartment trials. This is an assessment tool to help determine what skills the individual already has, skills he or she needs to work on, and other areas where they absolutely will need supervision. For example, we know that Angela will need supervision for cooking.

Last spring we were considering having Angela do a one-week trial, but we were very nervous about it. One problem she was continually having was getting ready for her day program on time. It was happening too often that she would "stall out" on one or two steps of her morning routine, causing her to miss her Metro Mobility ride. And when you miss your Metro ride too many times, you get suspended! Angela was needing constant prompts from me to "hurry up!" and "Angela your ride is COMING in TEN MINUTES and you still aren't dressed!!!!" The same problems were happening at night when she should have been getting ready for bed, but she just couldn't get herself to turn that dang TV off.  I often found myself saying, "You're an adult. How are you going to live in your own apartment if you can't even shut the TV off at a decent hour?" The same things I said to my other kids years ago. She would get mad. "I'm an adult! Stop telling me what to do!"

That is when Goally came into our lives!

We were at a family retreat when a friend mentioned this new device she had heard about. Goally was designed as an assistive device for Autism and ADHD.  It is a task-managing device. The caregiver enters routines, adding a time to each task within the routine. The user then carries the device with them, using the visual timer and auditory prompts to move through the routine. Angela's Goally has become her morning alarm clock, getting her up and moving through her morning routine with ZERO prompts from me! In the evenings she uses Goally after dinner, then has some down time until Goally tells her it's time to get ready for bed. Interestingly, when a device is telling her what to do, there are no issues. LOL Goally has allowed her to gain much more independence, and she is now ready to do that apartment trial in just a few weeks!

Here is a quick video about Goally, and how it works for Angela. This has allowed her to move from a place of needing constant reminders, to being 100% independent through her day (with the exception of cooking and laundry!)

Be sure to visit the Goally website to learn more! I'll be posting more videos about how we use Goally for other parts of our day.

1 comment:

Heather said...

So excited the blog is back! What a cool app!