Monday, February 28, 2011

Traveling made easy!

Good Day RettGirls!

Spring is fast approaching and we at have started thinking about those Spring and Summer break road trips! I know we may be a little early but most of us are so sick of snow and ice - the cabin fever is driving us batty! So, here are three things you can look at to order ahead of time while you are dreaming of that getaway!

Above we have the Zero Degrees Innercool Cooler. I personally use this cooler for plane trips and for small 2-4 hour road trips. We keep our juices, medicines and snacks in it. It sits comfortably under her feet in the back seat of the car.

When flying, we have a little luggage tag with her name and a Refrigerated Medicines tag on it and we have never had a problem with security or anything else. A must have!

This Inflatable travel pillow is such an incredible idea! We know anyone sitting next to our girls often becomes their personal headrest. My daughter always leans to the right so her brother or I are constantly sitting next to her holding her head so it doesn't flop over and then forward. If that engine's running, she's asleep. Absolutely love this one!

For those taking extended trips or who may need a little more of a extended consistent temperature for meds, formula and more we have found this Koolatron 12V Travel Cooler. This handy portable cooler plugs right into any 12v cigarette lighter in your vehicle and stays a consistent 3o degrees! Plus lots of extra pockets for syringes, cell phones and more!

You can find all these handy items in under Travel/Camps at!

Happy traveling everyone! Be safe!

Terri V~For RettGirl

Monday, February 14, 2011

Say It With Symbols!

Good Day RettGirls!

This week at we are featuring the website Say it With Symbols from the folks at

You can find this incredible resource in our Websites and School Stuff!

This site actually came to our attention from a father of a nonverbal child who is currently working on branching out to help all nonverbal people - children and adults.

Say it with Symbols is a website full of products, symbols, tips and free stuff for nonverbal communicators.

I spent hours looking through everything they have and I don't think I touched on half of it.

We are pretty sure you can find just about anything here to help your girl express herself. I know many of you MORE CRAFTIER THAN I parents and caregivers spend hours trying to come up with books, gadgets and pages to help your girls at home, in the classroom and on the go. I am serious when I say, "It's all here. Right at your fingertips!"


From the company website:

Communicating and Caring Using Picture Symbols:
Imagine not being able to ask for a tissue or say "I need you." For thousands of children and adults who struggle with speech, this is their daily reality. We can help them.

Say it with Symbols! is the first stop resource for families, caregivers and educators looking for affordable, easy-to-use augmentative communication aids that help people with speech disorders actively participate in daily living by communicating with pictures and symbols.

Browse our site to find portable
augmentative communication aids, Boardmaker symbol software, pre-made communication books and more that help children and adults express their needs and wants at home, in the classroom, out in the community and in healthcare/rehab settings. Look for the Parent-Inspired Product symbol throughout our site to identify products designed and used by families and caregivers. Communicating is caring.

A resource for families, special education teachers, speech and language pathologists, AAC and assistive technology specialists, nurses and rehab specialists who use communication aids, visual supports, Mayer-Johnson Boardmaker™ Picture Communication Symbols, and PECS with children and adults with communication disorders resulting from autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Rett Syndrome, dyspraxia, apraxia, aphasia, Alzheimer's, dementia, stroke and traumatic brain injury


We are sure you'll love it. Be sure to let us know what you think!

Have a great week!

Terri V~For RettGirl

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tar Heel Reader

Good Day RettGirls!

We are so excited to feature a new website at! TARHEELREADER.ORG

Ingrid Harding attended the ATIA Assistive Technology Conference last week and found some great resources to share.

Amongst a huge stack of papers, she found the "motherload" of FREE digital learning books! It's a website called Tar Heel Reader. You can find this in our Product Reviews under Books, Websites, and School Stuff! Tar Heel Reader was put together by Karen Erickson, special needs literacy guru from UNC-Chapel Hill. She also has developed a more "formal" inexpensive web-based literacy program called Route 66 that is worth checking out and presenting to your school as well.

Everything on is user-created -- so you can upload "books" you have created that will help others as well. There is everything from rainbows and ABC's to Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake -- literally THOUSANDS of accessible e-books!!!

A bit of instruction:
*Once you select a book, look in the left side menu -- you can select "silent" or a type of voice-- child,woman or man
*Click the "setup" button to download the book as PowerPoint or Flashfor use within other computer programs, switch access, etc.

I personally went there and was amazed! Not only can we read by using our switches, our girls can access this from school using all the cool stuff they have like Intellikeys, scanners and more!

The possibilities are endless. We are very impressed here. We can even upload our own pics to make stories so teachers at school can use pictures from each girl's environment!

Imagine being able to make up stories so easily about the girls and their families, siblings, pets and friends and have them read them back to you! We can make up stories about Rett Syndrome and share them with each other and the world!

We played on it all day. You can "search" by any topic. We read common fairy tales, picture books on her favorite things and are working on ideas to make books just for our girls! I am personally so jazzed I can barely sit in this chair!

I had to actually take breaks and make my girl go watch TV so I could get housework done. I gave up after she was banging her head and screaming at the gate. I let her back into the kitchen and she went right for the computer. She wanted more!! She usually gets very frustrated at all the, "Show me" and "Where is" questions she usually gets during her computer time. I got out her Yes and No cards and asked her if she wanted more books and she hit the yes card with her face and hand at the same time.

We highly recommend this site. You will not be disappointed. Go take a look. Let us know what you think!

Good luck!

Terri V~For RettGirl