It has been about six weeks since Caleb received his Forte’. I talked with him today to see how things are going and what he thinks about it. Caleb said he is very pleased with his Forte’. He said that it is great for writing compositions and doing projects. It eliminates him having to erase, and he can do spell checks and corrections so quickly that it really speeds up his writing. His teachers believe it has helped him quite a bit, but that he could use it more. Caleb said that the homework that in the past took him thirty minutes, he now does in about ten minutes.
Some of Caleb’s comments about the Forte’ are, “It is very helpful for people with hand tremors.” He says he uses it most for his work in Social Studies and Communication Skills and that the other kids wish they had one. And . . . Oh yes, he really likes it!
On October 18, 2012, Caleb’s Mom met with Caleb’s Language Therapist and the Computer Access Facilitator for the Special School District. The Facilitator also has Essential Tremor which made her more aware of the challenges that Caleb deals with on a day to day basis. After discussing Caleb’s needs, it was decided to get him a Fusion. A Fusion is a small, less than four (4) pounds, word processor with a keyboard that will allow Caleb to type and store notes and assignments. He will be allowed to take the Fusion home to use it to do his homework, which can be printed out by a printer at school.
They set a date to meet at school on October 29th. The meeting will be to teach Caleb, his Mom and his Teachers how the Fusion works. This will be a giant step for Caleb.
Moving ahead to October 29th. When they met, they found that the Facilitator had a surprise for them. In addition to the Fusion, she brought an updated version of it, the Forte’, which is even lighter weight than the Fusion. Caleb will be the first one to use the Forte’. When Caleb came in from his class, the Facilitator showed him, his mom and his teacher how to use the Forte’. There is also a set of head phones, and he can use a flash drive to save work he has done on the Forte’. The Forte’ is basically a miniature word processor, that can also talk back to him so that he knows he has typed in the correct information. It is also equipped with spell check, and a carrying case.
Caleb is pleased and happy with his Forte’. He can keep up with things in class without so much stress and finish his day without being so tired.
Mary J Fitzpatrick
Support Group Leader
St. Louis, Missouri
As part of our ongoing effort to increase awareness among those involved with children with Essential Tremor, we will be following the experiences of Caleb, a boy with Essential Tremor, as he goes through the seventh grade.
Caleb Eaton has entered the 7th Grade! He recently turned 13 and is waiting to get some assistive technology to help with all the note taking and papers that the 7th grade requires. His mother, Kathleen, received his updated IEP which includes allowing Caleb the use of an assistance device. She and Caleb are still waiting, but know he will get help soon. We will let you know when and what he receives to help him continue his success in school.
He was inducted into The National Honor Society while in the 6th grade. He has definitely come a long way! We all wish him a fun and successful 7th grade.
Caleb Eaton, the 13 year old son of Robert and Kathleen Eaton has had Essential Tremor since he was 2 years old. He just completed the 6th grade and is doing well. Kathleen has made great effort to learn about ET and to take what she has learned to Caleb’s teachers, counselors and to other people at Hazelwood West Middle School. The school is attempting to get some technology that will help Caleb with writing, etc., when he starts 7th grade next fall.
Because of Kathleen and Robert’s efforts, and Caleb’s strong will to succeed, he is doing well in school and is happy to know that this picture of him and this information may help other young children know that they are not alone and that they too can triumph over ET.
We, here at HopeNET are so pleased with Caleb’s progress and wish him success in all his endeavors. We also understand that without the help of his parents, things would be much more difficult.
Mary J Fitzpatrick
HopeNet Board Secretary
St. Louis, Missouri