Autistic Living: Gemiini Systems At Home Therapy
Gemini has become an everyday word in our household over the last three months. It was by pure accident that we stumbled upon this gem. We were browsing the net for some schools that are actually inclusive, and not just advertising to be inclusive just to make a few extra bucks. We came across a school that says they specifically use the Gemini program to aid their students in vocal communication, reading and social skills – We hadn’t heard of this before so naturally we investigated this further.
What we understood Geniini to be is a series of video’s that is preset and also fully customizable that when played repetitively will increase the child’s vocabulary, and all this for only R400 a month…
I immediately rolled my eyes.
Here is another company preying on our differences, making extraordinary claims and at such cheap prices, sigh, of course this won’t work. I mean, it seems so simple, accessible, and cheap – when it comes to any therapy, none of those words feature. EVER.
Indulging my husband in his quest to increase our son’s vocabulary, I signed up and paid the small fee.
We were directed to Naomi at Khuluma education, who is the sole distributor of Gemini in South Africa. Her responses were quick, informative and pleasant – the sign up process was a breeze, and by that afternoon we had loaded our son’s first video onto the iPad.
We were instructed to show him the video 40 times per week – the videos was around 5 minutes long. Again my skepticism rose, how the hell are you going to teach my son to vocalize in 5 minute increments, when he has been working with therapists for over 2 years!
Again, this seemed too good to be true. Either way, I had paid for it, might as well give it a go, if nothing comes of it, my son will have then had some exposure of different words that the therapist can work on. So we soldiered on, and I let him watch the first video 40 times in that week, as suggested.
My son had a vocabulary of around 25-35 words before we started using the Gemini system, which took us about 6 months to get to.
The first video was about animals, with 7 animal words that was being targeted, he would repeat the words when prompted while watching the video as he would do with many other words before, so that wasn’t anything new. Then we tested him at the end of the week. We took photos off Google of the 7 animals and sat down with him, I flipped through the 7 pictures, every time asking him “What is this? “
I kid you not…. He had learnt, and pronounced EVERY.SINGLE.ONE by the end of the week!!!
I thought this was a fluke because these are words we said often, he loves animals and those 7 animals we must have said a bazillion times in the last 6 months, maybe he just finally decided to say them out loud?
So we moved onto the next video – Clothes, around 9 words being targeted. Now these words we have never pushed because we were still trying to teach him to put clothes on independently – so if there ever was a test to see if Gemini was working, this video would confirm it.
Another 40 repeats over a 7 day span – and low and behold, for the first time in I cannot remember how long, I WAS SPEECHLESS – my husband took items from our sons wardrobe held it up one by one and asked our son “What is this?” He named them all! EVERY.SINGLE.ITEM.
We are now 8 weeks in, and our son has a vocabulary of 140 words and counting.
Now I am on a mission to tell anyone who will listen. This has been the biggest jump in our son’s expressive language since he was born, and no one is talking about this???? Ok, OK, I was skeptical too, it really has been too good to be true. It’s very simple, you can do it whenever you have a few minutes extra, we run the lessons to and from school while sitting in the car, in the bath, and use it as a to-do before he can go play – so now he comes to ME with the IPad and watches a video because he wants to go play and know he has to learn something first.
He sits quietly watching the videos and repeats the words as he is prompted. The only thing we need to do is generalize it, (make him understand that there are 500 types of dogs, by taking him to the dog park and asking him while pointing to a dog “what is that?”) which is so much fun because now my son is starting to explore the world around him in a different way, and he is enjoying it more because I am now able to understand his needs better and actually be a part of his world.
Gemini has given us so much and asked so little in return, this is what education should be.
I am every day grateful for this gift we stumbled upon and hope Gemini and Khuluma education continues to do their amazing work and spread what they can teach far and wide so anyone needing their help can have access to it.
Please have a look at their website, ask for Naomi, and tell her you want to hear about the amazing things Gemini can do to help you!
They offer you a free 7 day trial, no money upfront, so you can test it out and see for yourself, no obligation.
Just try it, I promise you, you won’t regret it!