Sneak Preview

Later today, Clay is making his third presentation to a class at Arcadia University. He’s practically a grizzled old veteran at this point.

In his first presentation, he talked about what typing has meant to him:

“My life was poor before I was typing. Now I am a free soul,” he told the class.

In his second presentation, he talked about his frustration that he is not typing more at school and about his Mom.

“I type well with my mom,” he typed. “She asks me lots of questions. she loves me very much.”

I won’t be able to make the third presentation, but I have a sneak preview to share since Clay was working on what he wants to say with his typing teacher, Lisa Romaine, on Saturday.

Here is part of what he has written, so far:

“i want to tell them i am very happy they want to see a person talk with a ipad. i hope they see it is me typing not mom. really hard to explain that it is me when mom is holding my arm. want to explain that i am smart but look retarded to most people. this is my biggest problem. i am smarter than i seem. just because i am not like you does not mean i am notworth knowing. think if you could not say what you wanted and only could type it with a person holding your arm. it sucks but is the only way for me.”

On Sunday, my wife asked him about using the word “retarded”.

“You’ve used the word ‘retarded’ twice now. Where did you learn that word?”


from school. some kids say it. they are stupid.”


Do they say it to you?”


no to each other. awesome to talk tomorrow.

Awesome, for sure. Can’t wait to hear how presentation number three comes out.


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  1. #1 by Lynda on April 2, 2012 - 11:17 am

    Thank you for sharing your life with Clay..he is an amazing young man thanks to the love and opportunities given by his family and those who know him.

  2. #2 by autismmommytherapist on April 2, 2012 - 2:37 pm

    I got chills reading this- so amazing he can bring his story to other people (and in person!). You and your wife have done an amazing job with Clay!

  3. #3 by JustWondering on April 2, 2012 - 2:40 pm

    Just wondering why ipad is positioned so high. Would positioning just above elbow reduce involvement of shoulder muscles, making easier (i.e. def of to ‘facilitate’). Hard to see from photo, but if he is sitting parallel to the iPad, there is shoulder hitching, another reason to consider lowering iPad and focusing on horizontal pull back. If he is sitting on an angle to the right (as viewing from behind), then the iPad might want to be moved more to the left to align midline of iPad with dominant hand/shoulder midline. Not trying to be picky, that comes naturally…. just wondering if it may make it easier for Clay’s typing. Also assumed may be not as easy as it could be due to two handed support from facilitator. Seems like he has a lot to say – the easier it is, the more he should be able to get out.

    • #4 by Roe on April 2, 2012 - 3:03 pm

      Thanks for asking! The iPad is positioned high on because of Clay’s visual issues. It is obvious when putting the device on a low table stand that he can’t see the lower part of the keyboard…affecting his accuracy. Clay has also told us (and Lisa) that he prefers it to be positioned higher. Lisa just told us about a stand that allows eye-level positioning off the table, so I think that will be our next purchase. It does get difficult holding the iPad for long lengths of time. Also, I don’t do two-handed support. I’m actually correcting his posture in this photo.

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