"We have been using EagleEyes for almost two months. McKay's condition, like many other children with disability, is both unique and severe. During the third trimester of pregnancy a blood clot formed on McKay's brain - it eventually grew, burst, and bled destroying most of the brain tissue. Although McKay was sent home after 18 days in the hospital with no life expectancy, he has beat the odds and will be turning 12 this summer. He has been mentally diagnosed with the capacity of a zero to one-month old infant. McKay has never cried, crawled, or walked. He does not track with his eyes and has no coordination with the movement of his arms and legs. He has been in a wheel chair or in a bed his entire life. McKay simply communicates through his behavior by showing either discomfort or comfort.
When we received EagleEyes we could not allow ourselves to expect too much. It is hard to believe that McKay would ever be able to communicate after 11 years of life. After using Eagle Eyes for close to two months, on March 27th it appeared that McKay triggered the target two or three times within 15 minutes. At that point our 8 year-old daughter suggested I get out the video camera because they were having so much fun. Although the tape was at the end and the battery was low, I turned the camera on hoping to record something. We had a great time together! (see the video below)
As a family we understand that many with severe disabilities have learned to communicate through EagleEyes while others have not shown significant change. Being so early in the process, we are still not totally sure McKay is actually using his eyes to trigger the targets. However, we have learned that EagleEyes might be doing something more for our family. For the first time in McKay's life we watched his brothers and sister join with him in a purposeful, fun, rewarding activity. In our home the typical interaction with McKay has always been centered around the day-to-day physical care of feeding, changing, dressing, and bathing him. Beyond the attention provided through his physical care, our family outings and gatherings seemingly go on with him just "being" there.
Not only is EagleEyes providing McKay with the potential of learning cause and effect, but it has also provided his Mom, Dad, brothers and sister with new ways to interact with him! This means so much to our little family. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!"
Written by John Roe