A Different Kind Of Singing

Children like Lillian are why the Turning Views Foundation and the Gift a Voice Project were created. The Foundation’s intent is to make a DIFFERENCE for those that are DIFFERENT. First, by providing to nonverbal and/or speech impaired children an iPhone or iPod touch so they can FINALLY have a voice and be able to communicate in a more fluid and modern way. – Camilla Downs

Want to help us? Make a cash donation, donate your last generation iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, or host a Gift a Voice Cell Phone Recycling Drive. Visit our Get Involved page to learn more ideas. We are a 501(3) non-profit and will provide you with a donation receipt.

Top 10 Christmas Wish List 2011

Please take a peek as the first “Top 3″ items won’t take a bite out of your money budget – Just a small bite out of your time budget!

  1. Share the Different iz Good website , Facebook page – facebook.com/DifferentizGood and our Gift a Voice Project with your online community.
  2. Donate any used cell phone, smart phone, iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad for the Foundation’s Gift a Voice Project.
  3. Host a Gift a Voice Cell Phone Drive.
  4. Apple Gift Cards
  5. iTunes Gift Cards
  6. Amazon Gift Cards
  7. New iPod Touch or iPad
  8. Buy stuff from the Different iz Good store
  9. Cash Donations – Any Amount (Cash, Credit Card or PayPal)
  10. Sponsor a person with communication disabilities:

Approximately $600 will buy one NEW iPod Touch, Proloquo2Go (or similar) AAC Application, iMainGo speaker/case or similar and a cover (exact cost will depend on needs of recipient).

Approximately $1,200 will buy one NEW iPad, Proloquo2Go (or similar) AAC Application,  speaker and a case/cover (exact cost will depend on needs of recipient).

If you’d like more information about our Wish List items please comment below, comment on our Facebook Page or send an email to list @ differentizgood . org.

Gift a Voice FUNdraiser – Vino for Voices

Whose ready to have some FUN while at the same time raising money for the Turning Views Foundation, Different iz Good and Gift a Voice?

Clark is our next Gift a Voice Recipient

We’ve got a great time scheduled for Wednesday, March 30th, from 6-8 pm at Kona Gold Coffee and Wine Bar y’all! An informal night of fun, wine, chocolate (Dorinda’s Chocolates to be exact!! YUM) and appetizers.

March 30, 2011, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Kona Gold Coffee & Wine Bar
3304 South McCarran Blvd Reno

Over TWENTY FIVE donations for our over the top awesome raffle!  Ranging from Jewelry to Gift Certificates to Wine to Oil Changes to Massages to Bread Baskets to Chocolate to Limousine services to Dental Exams to Books to Chiropractic Exams and all things in between!!

100% of the event fee goes to our Gift a Voice project.  Kona Gold is donating the space, the wine and the appetizers and Dorinda’s Chocolates is donating the chocolate.  Kona Gold is also donating all their tips for the night to our Foundation!!

Bring your inactive and used iPhones, smart phones and cell phones for donation to our Cell Phone Recycling for a Voice Drive.  Receive (1) One FREE raffle ticket for each phone donated.

Join us and support those in our lives with special needs and those with communication disabilities!

Help us spread the word about our Vino for Voices event by sharing with your Facebook Community and pressing that little ole “Like” button below!! We appreciate it times a million y’all!!

(After check out please print your PayPal receipt as that is your ticket to “taste”!!)


Sponsored and hosted by:

Delicious Mouth Watering Chocolate Provided by:

Bring Your Smile ‘Cause Photography Provided by:

Filming Provided By:

My Kid Rides the Short Bus

(Guest post by Loni Scovill Smith –  Loni blogs at His Apraxia Journey)

Why Different iz Good Exists!

When I was growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, there was a stigma attached to kids that rode the “short bus”.  I believe most of it stemmed from ignorance and fear.  Back in those days, when you saw the short bus, you imagined it was filled with kids afflicted with the worst of the worst disabilities.

My son rides the short bus. And he isn’t afflicted with the worst of the worst. In every way physically, he seems normal. He looks and acts like any other five year old in preschool. He’s social, fun, smart, stubborn, but very different in one specific way – his speech is unintelligible.

I am a mother in the age of the internet, a time when information is at everyone’s fingertips. I live in a decade where we can stay connected with others virtually; I have easy, accessible ways to pass on information to others about my son’s condition. Whether it’s through Facebook posts, my blog – His Apraxia Journey, or even this Different Iz Good blog, people can learn about Ian’s speech apraxia and having that knowledge eliminates the fear or ignorance that they might have been experiencing. That’s pretty darn cool.

Because of social networking and the plethora of information readily available at our computers, the doors of acceptance have been opened wider than ever before to our children with disabilities. Knowledge is beautiful.

As I prepare my son for the probability of attending a special education kindergarten in the fall (complete with another year of riding the short bus), I revel in the fact that he is loved and accepted by all of those around us. There is not a horrible stigma or fear and ridicule attached to him, rather, there is joy with each new word he speaks clearly, there is celebration for the success he finds in the special help he receives. There is compassion.

My kid rides the short bus and everyone celebrates his differences. Being different is no longer scary, it’s acceptable. It’s understandable. It’s beautiful.

Wanna share this one with your Facebook Friends?  Go Right Here – Thank You!!

Luke T from Valdosta Georgia

Introducing Luke T from Valdosta Georgia y’all!  Luke is our next Gift a Voice recipient!  We are blessed and grateful to be able to assist Luke in communicating his wants and needs to family members and those around him.  Imagine knowing what you want to say and not being able to articulate it?  Let’s help this handsome young man!!

Luke T is a happy, energetic and curious 2 year old. He brings great joy to his family and friends. He lives with his mother, father and 8 year old sister, Maggie. Luke appears to be a normal little boy in every way, except that he does not speak. It is obvious that he wants to talk. Whenever prompted, he makes a genuine effort to try to repeat words or sounds. However, very few utterances or approximations are clear enough to be called words. He does get frustrated when he can’t communicate his wants or needs.

He interacts well with other children and adults, making eye contact, smiling and gesturing in lieu of words. He loves to go to the park and swing. He also likes to go to the mall. He plays peek-a-boo, chase, and jumps on the trampoline. He adores his big sister, b.k.a. “Gee Gee”. He enjoys going to gymnastics class and playing with puppies.

Please share with your Facebook Friends y’all!! Thanks much!

Different iz Just Fine

(Guest post by Loni Scovill Smith –  Loni blogs at His Apraxia Journey)

I knew pretty early on that there was something wrong with Ian’s speech. His first “words” were really just a series of grunts. He had a grunt for everything and while it was endearing in the beginning, as new sounds began to emerge, communication with him quickly became a frazzled real life version of the Mattel game Mad Gab. Ian is our third child and although I’d heard all of the excuses from others (“boys are late talkers” “he has older siblings to speak for him”), I felt certain that there was more to his speech difficulties. I talked about Ian’s speech a lot in the beginning. I think I was trying to reach out, looking for some information to grasp onto and I was met with a lot of shoulder shrug responses. To save Ian from having to endure confused looks or being waved off by others, I felt that it was my duty to explain to everyone that he couldn’t talk very well and that he just needed some patience to get his point across. My need to explain paid off one day when a woman said to me, “Ian reminds me of my grandson.” She then proceeded to tell me about her grandson’s diagnosis of Childhood Apraxia of Speech and told me to call the school district to get him some help. Being the avid, obsessive researcher that I am, I spent the next few days on the internet digging around for any information I could find on the condition. I’m sure that by the end of it I looked like one of those red-eyed, unkempt cartoon characters that haven’t had their morning coffee yet. The school district got Ian in immediately for an evaluation. They concluded that he was behind verbally and developmentally and said that he wasn’t even on the charts for his age group. At this point, you’d think I would have cried, but what they told me was something I’d already known in my heart for a long time. Instead of tears, I felt at peace. Finally, there was confirmation that he needed help and he was going to be getting that help. They enrolled him in the developmental preschool for the following Monday and started him in speech therapy. Ian’s diagnosis for Childhood Apraxia of Speech didn’t come for another nine months (in December 2009). His therapist pulled me aside after a session of therapy and mentioned that he might benefit from a communication device. The device – a Dynavox computer – was $8,000.00 and would partially be covered by insurance, but only if we had an official diagnosis. Willing to do whatever it took to help Ian, I agreed to it and his therapist formally gave him the test for Apraxia. This time, I cried, but it was out of pure relief. The diagnosis that I’d been pushing her for was finally becoming a reality. With a diagnosis comes a plan of action – a series of steps to follow to tailor his therapy specific to his condition. The therapist got the paperwork ready while I stressed over the cost of the device. I spent a lot of time praying, talking it over with my husband and confirming with the therapist that this was the best option for Ian. This is where the story gives me goosebumps because I know that God had listened to and answered my prayers. I was playing around on my iPod touch and the idea hit me that I might be able to find some apps with fun games that would help Ian with his coordination. Searching for games turned into searching for flashcards with pictures which turned into searching for educational apps until finally, I stumbled on Proloquo2Go. My fingers started to shake with excitement as I viewed the screenshots – it looked very similar to the software that the Dynavox rep had shown me. I read the reviews, went to the website and called up the therapist. She was just putting our application into the fax machine to send to Dynavox when I told her to hold it right there and then proceeded to talk for ten minutes straight without stopping to take a breath. In short, the therapist (having no knowledge of Proloquo2Go) got excited, talked to her collegues and decided that we should give it a shot. That very night, my husband and I went to Best Buy, purchased an iPod Touch for Ian and downloaded Proloquo2Go. Over the last year, Ian’s speech has improved dramatically. While he is still unclear to most, he has the basic building blocks for speech in his arsenal. A large factor in his improvement was his iPod and Proloquo2Go. “Apraxia is a presumably neurological speech disorder that affects a child’s ability to plan, execute, and sequence the precise movements of the tongue, jaw, lips and palate that are necessary for intelligible speech. Children with (verbal) apraxia are able to hear and understand words; but they have trouble with the motor skill necessary for formulating consonants and vowels into spoken words. While they may have a few words or phrases they can speak clearly – what’s referred to as “pop-outs” – they are unable to imitate what is asked of them. While researchers have several theories, the cause of apraxia is not yet known.” (The Parent’s Guide to Speech and Language Problems by Debbie Feit, pg. 66.) Different iz Good’s Gift a Voice Project is about giving kids more than words. When you donate to Different is Good, you are also giving these kids a better chance at socializing, fitting in and expressing their deepest thoughts. You’re giving them a chance at just being a kid. Did you enjoy this article?  We invite you to share it with your Facebook friends! Thank you!

Recycle and Give a Voice to those Without

Let’s give ’em something to talk about y’all!  It’s official! We’ve just received our first media coverage about our recycling project.  Thanks to Reno News & Review for taking an interest in Turning Views Foundation’s efforts to collect last generation iPhones, iPods and (soon) iPads. These devises are much much more than a phone or a device to house all your favorite songs.  They literally give a voice to those without one.  We are in the midst of a communication evolution that has shifted in such a way to include a segment of the population like never before.  1 of every 8,000 people in the United States has a communication disability. You can read more about my thoughts on this topic at The Evolution of Communication.

These mobile, compact and cool Apple devices can be used as speech generating devices for those that communicate with sign language or who aren’t able to articulate words.  By installing an application like Proloquo2Go one can communicate and express themselves using a modern hand held device.  The community for socializing and conducting business has exponentially increased for those who have a communication disabilites.  Insurance companies and Medicaid do not cover these; but do cover big clunky speech generating devices that cost anywhere from $5,000-$10,000. Let’s be clear here though.  We do understand that there are instances where these devices are the right fit for someone.  We are not discounting their usefulness and need.

We would like to officially thank Robin Snegg Krueger with Disability Resources/New2U Computers, 50 E. Greg St in Sparks, Nevada and Alicia Detriech of Mac-O-Rama, 4690 Longley Lane, Reno, Nevada for their involvement with our “Gift a Voice” Project! If you are local to Reno, you can drop off your last generation devices at either of these locations.  Alicia, owner of Mac-O-Rama (an authorized Apple service provider), will reset the devices so no worries about your personal information.

If you are not local to Reno you can mail your device to Mac-O-Rama, For Turning Views Foundation, 4690 Longley Lane #22, Reno, NV 89502 (make sure it’s packaged to protect!)  Thanks and we would love to hear your Comments!