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Tyler's Story

Posted by Debbie Inkley on October 2, 2012

Tyler_2.JPGRead this inspirational story of how a Mother had given up on eye gaze devices until EagleEyes worked in 2 minutes for her son after months of other devices having no success.

My son, Tyler, is 9 years old. He was born with Cerebral Palsy for no apparent reason. After years of tests and all of them coming up "normal" we decided to stop trying to find the reason and just move forward with a fulfilling life for Tyler. Tyler LOVES the outdoors and when the temperature is just right he is like a lizard and will lounge out in the sun forever. He LOVES music of all kinds and loves books read to him too.

We had been trying a communication device for a while using switches to get Tyler to active different things and be able to communicate with us, but with his condition it is hard for him to use his hands so we did a lot of head switches. One Sunday we went to my in-laws for dinner and they asked if we had seen a program called Turning Point. We had not heard of it but they DVR'd it and showed it to us. Of course I cried the whole time and thought of all the possibilities. We thought all eye gaze devices would be somewhat similar so we contacted the company that we had the communication device through and they said yes they could do eye gaze so we decided to give it try.

They brought over a camera the next time they came and we hooked it up and gave it a try. It was supposed to detect Tyler's eye and control the mouse that way. Tyler was unsuccessful at using it because his pupils are really large because of medication. The trainer said he knew of some things he could "tweak" to get it to work properly so over the next few months he did a few things on his end and we waited. He came back with a new program for the camera and loaded it on the computer. We tried again and again Tyler was unsuccessful. The trainer called his company computer guy and they tried several different things and we were still striking out. After a few more months he came back again and tried another new program that they came up with "just for Tyler". They had taken a video of how his eyes work and this was going to be it for sure because it was tailored just for him. Well it didn't work. Here we were about 18 months later and we were still at square one with a device that would not work. When the guy left I was SO upset and frustrated. Then I remembered the program we had seen several months before, EagleEyes.

Tyler1.JPGI immediately got on line and searched it out until I found the EagleEyes site. I wanted to contact someone but not sure who so I looked at the information. There was someone in Boston or there was someone in Salt Lake City named Debbie. I am in Nevada so I decided to go for the person that was in Salt Lake City . That turned out to be the best e-mail I have sent in a long time! Debbie Inkley got right back to me and we talked about Tyler and what his needs were and she sent me to the web site to check out some videos and see what we thought and if it was right for Tyler. After watching several videos and crying for an hour, I was convinced it was the right thing for Tyler.

We worked out the logistics of it and about 2 months later Ron Williams was here with the the EagleEyes device showing us how it worked. After the initial training we hooked Tyler up and 2 minutes later Tyler was using the device to play the banana phone, you gotta love that song right. I was AMAZED and SO EXCITED!!! We had spent over a year trying this other device and we had gotten nowhere and in 2 minutes Tyler was using the Eagle Eyes all by himself. It brought tears to my eyes! And his therapists and teacher that were here were all really encouraged by what they saw.

Tyler_3.JPG

The first time we hooked Tyler up he played different games for an hour!! He started getting a little tired so we decided to hook dad up so we could have the practice. We got him hooked up and again I was AMAZED with Tyler because his dad really struggled with getting the mouse where he wanted it. We laughed at him and marveled at Tyler for a while then let Tyler play again and he played for another hour.


Since that day, when we ask Tyler if he wants to do Eagle Eyes he gets excited and he smiles SO big. I love it!!  Also since we have started using this device Tyler's eyes have started working together more. One of them use to go out a little but they are working together a lot more now. This device has been so amazing and I can't wait to see the potential that Tyler has.

Tyler's Mom, Kristy Tilton