Little Owen, smiling and wearing his device
Meet Owen
This is Owen. Owen has Angelman Syndrome. Owen recently switched from Proloquo2Go to TouchChat with WordPower. Owen is loving the new navigation features which have helped increase his independence. He especially loves the voice he selected which sounds just like Yoda! Owen is a social guy and has many friends. He seems to know everybody in town, in fact, his nickname is "The Mayor". Owen always makes sure to introduce his friends to each other by name using his AAC device. Owen is very passionate about music and is often heard requesting that Alexa play one of his favorite songs. Owen is also a big fan of swimming, crafting, and playing baseball. Owen has a great sense of humor and one of his favorite things is sneaking up on people to say "SURPRISE!", although his giggles usually give him away first!
Meet Samantha
Samantha has Angelman Syndrome and is deletion positive. She navigates her PODD communication app like a champion, letting us know what she is thinking, bossing around Alexa and everyone else, demanding hugs and food and the Cha Cha Slide. Everyone is so proud of this girl! After seven years of being stuck on the same PECS goal she has spent the past three and a half years surpassing everyone's expectations about her communication and cognitive powers! In addition, she has learned how to use language on her PODD to regulate herself and get what she needs with words instead of acting out. She is a real tribute to the power of AAC as an intervention for challenging behaviors.
Samantha smiling to the camera
Kate Kause
Kate’s Kause - building an inclusive community
Kate’s Kause is a charitable organization supported and run by volunteers. Based in Ontario Canada, the project was started by the Meissner family in 2012, with a mission to raise awareness of Angelman syndrome and to support families living with disabilities through education and inclusive community projects. The charity was inspired by the Meissner’s daughter Kate who has Angelman Syndrome. The family recognized the need for children to play with other children in a playground as part of their development and socialization and wanted to provide a safe place for children of all abilities. Kate’s Place for Everyone, a state of the art accessible playground was opened in 2012. In 2017, with the collaboration of community groups, a new Kate’s Kause vision came to life: a vibrant, accessible splash pad, complete with playground, revitalizing an under-utilized park. In 2021 an accessible washroom was funded and built near the original playground.
Angelman Parents advocate for inclusion
The Academic Career and Essential Skills/Integrated Collaborative Training (ACES/ICT) inclusion program started as a conversation among a group of Moms in New York City regarding their children with Angelman syndrome (AS). Collectively, they talked about the future and what their kids would require to maximize their educational experience. They knew their children would be candidates for the most expensive special education schools but they felt that was not the right environment for their kids. Individuals with Angelman Syndrome (AS) are often very social, thus there was a strong feeling on the part of these Moms that their children needed to play with and learn from typical peers as part of their educational experience. Eve Colavito, Mom to ACES student Vivian, noted, “We wanted to create a place where everyone’s gifts and talents are celebrated and valued. A place where learning is accessed in different ways and evidence of learning can be produced in different ways in order to meet the needs of the learner”.

Quincy with her AAC

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