Friday, May 1, 2015

GemIIni program

What a busy week for us!

Recently I've been hearing a lot about a program called  Gemiini.  It is a program to help non verbal children speak.  We decided to take the plunge and buy it for Sam, as well as a tablet.  It's a bit hard to use for us because of our horrible internet service but I've just been sitting in the church with him, listening to the video over and over again.  It is a totally web based program.  I did get it to work some in our home last night but it's been a challenge.  Today I have Sam with me at the library in a study room. 

Sam is quite engrossed in it to say the very least!  Basically it's like a Baby Einstein video with all the music taken out and all the pretty pictures LOL.  It shows a lot of close up on people saying a word over and over and over and over and over again.  Pretty much purgatory for the parent!  Yesterday I had such a headache I thought I was going to puke!  I'm so thankful that Sam is so engrossed in it.  The sessions are lengthy-for some reason I think they are 40 minutes each.  AND the child is to view it 40 times....yep...40times before you can move on to the next video.  We are on view #5.....we have a looooong way to go. 

Here is Sam last night
 And today at the library
He is quite adorable isn't he?  So intense on watching this.  If this works.........
Yes we are going to try it with Sarah and Selah too.  First I wanted to work with Sam on it..  I'm not quite sure I could work with more than one child on it at a time at this point.  Sam does say NO and Mama and sometimes Dad.  He has a larger understanding of receptive language than the girls.  I won't work with them until we move because of the internet issue. 
I'm not even sure we are doing it 100% right.  In the beginning it's actually supposed to be used at mealtimes.  We can't do that because of the internet issues we have, so I'm just playing it over and over as much as he'll take.  Luckily he likes things  repeated  over and over again.  I do NOT! 
So in all of this, is our hope and prayer that something will unlock language in Sam.  I felt a real sense of urgency to get him started on this.  I can't imagine it working on a completely blind child.  I'm going to try it with Sarah but I can't imagine it working.  I worry about Sam's sight all the time, it's in the back of my mind at all times that he could lose his sight.  He has a fragile grasp on his sight, so many things working against him all the time, his body works against him.  If he could get some real speech, I think it would make life easier for him especially if he ever completely loses his sight again. 
So pray for me that I can work with him and get him started in this.  It's quite an undertaking for a mother of five! 
Next Tuesday Selah will have hip surgery.  I'm nervous about that too.....
Well my husband has been enjoying Molly our OUTSIDE  (lol) dog.  He has been taking her out in the woods with him every afternoon and she loves it.  The other day they came up on three wild hogs and she wanted to go after them.  THEN as they were walking, a big 7-8 foot gator went across their path!  It came out of the woods on one side and went into the water on the other side.  Molly wrapped the leash around Jon- she was a bit spooked.  He said he couldn't tell who was protecting who at that point:)  The next day they spooked up some hogs again and he had to hold her back from chasing them.  She is becoming more vocal now that they go out in the woods.  She will bark at cars after they get back home.  She loves riding shotgun and sits up high so she can see everything. 
Well we are having beautiful weather here in Florida!  I want to be outside not stuck in the library but here I am!!!!


  1. Yvonne, I subscribed to Gemiini to use with Justin a couple weeks ago. He loves it, and I LOVE it!!! :-D Although he is already very verbal, Gemiini is helping him with articulation, improved sentence structure, answering questions, understanding concepts, learning better manners and social skills, etc. The reason they suggest to have kids watch it while they eat is that some autistic children are resistant to watching the videos if the parents just try to sit them down and get them to watch them. So, if the parents play them while the child is doing something he or she enjoys, like eating, they are often less resistant. But since Sam is fine with sitting down and watching them, just keep on doing it the way you're doing it. Besides, being almost blind, he needs to be really close to the screen, so mealtime wouldn't work very well for him. Yes, that picture of him watching is adorable! :-D The very first video in Quick Start (1.0 Getting the Most from Each Video) is actually 20 min. long, but I'm sure it seems like 40 min. when you are hearing the same things over and over. LOL! You aren't supposed to have him view that one 40 times. They suggest just 3 times for that one. It is just to show the parent and child ways to make the videos more interactive so the child will get more out of them. But Sam needs to hold the tablet close or sit close to it to see it, and he needs to focus on it without distraction. You don't need to try to do like the teacher on the video is doing with her group of children. So, you can move on to 2.0 (Animals, Signs and Sounds) and it's only 7 min. long. You can get to your 40 quicker by having him watch it through 3 times each session, which would be 21 min., if he can stay interested that long. Or even 4 times, which would be 28 min. If you did 4 times twice a day, he would reach 40 views in just 5 days. :-D

  2. It is good to help the child make application of the words in the video, so if you or one of
    the boys could actually find a lizard to show to Sam and he could not just see it but touch
    it, that would help him to understand what a lizard is. Of course, you can't do that with a
    bear or an elephant, but you could use a teddy bear for bear. Or show him a video clip of a
    real bear. Same with elephant. Some way to reinforce the words he is hearing on Gemiini.
    When you get to 3.0 reinforcing the words will be much easier, as cat and dog are on that
    one. :-) By the way, you don't need to have him watch every video on the Quick Start list.
    If you are able to view the ones that say High Internet, then you only watch the ones that
    end in 0 (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, etc.) . The other ones with that end in .2 (1.2, 2.2, 3.2, etc.)
    are for people who are in areas where they don't have high speed internet access. The
    pictures on those are not as good of quality. The ones ending in .22 are for those who do
    not want the sign language. And the ones ending in .8 are for people who want to edit the
    videos for some reason. Some autistic children are terrified by the animal noises, so they
    recommend to those parents to make their own session using video clips from the food
    category or toys, whatever their child loves. I bet Sam would love a video session with his
    favorite foods. :-D So, if after a couple weeks of animals, you want to create a custom
    session for him with some of his favorite foods and have him watch it 40 times, that is
    perfectly okay. You can even stick his name into a video session that you create! They
    have short clips of a whole bunch of names, and Sam is on the list. The older boy who
    does the boys names even looks something like your Steve. I'm not doing the Quick Start
    Language program with Justin, since he already knows all those words, so I custom create
    most of his sessions. I requested a phone consultation from someone at Gemiini and the
    lady recommended that I create sessions for him and walked me through the process. I
    am also on the Gemiini fb group, and I am addicted to it because every day there are parents sharing miracle moments where their child says a word for the very first time or makes an animal sound or does one of the signs or motions, and they say that they cried tears of joy. If Sam says a word or makes an animal sound or does one of the signs or motions from a Gemiini video, it will be worth you almost losing your sanity from the repetition, and I will cry happy tears! :-D

  3. Thank you so much for posting about this system - I had never heard of this before reading your post. Our daughter is non-verbal at six. We have been following your blog for years and I feel so fortunate to have your faith and strength to just give me a lift on my own parenting journey each week. To say we have tried everything, spent countless hours and dollars on our Suz would be an understatement. I'm hopeful again w/ this system and can't wait to use our summer time doing something she actually seems interested in. So many therapists give us a laundry list of "home program" things to do to try to stimulate speech. Suffice to say nothing is really hitting it out of the park yet. I just wanted to send you a cyber hug of gratitude and let you know how this post is helping our family soo much!! God bless on Selah's surgery too. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!