This week I have attempted to play with the beginner communication apps that are meant to teach basic touch screen skills for communication purposes and I have not had that much luck. Perhaps some of you out there have more basic knowledge or skills. If so, please comment if you disagree or have a better experience with the following two apps.
As you may know, Jus (my teenage, nonverbal son) uses proloquo2go for his AT app with the iPod. This app is not extremely user friendly and does not have custom voice, which is greatly needed due to the mispronunciation of many words. Custom Voice would also help those who are beginning with the ITM system I designed because initially we start with All Caps and work into the lowercase, because the keyboard is in all caps. One funny example of the all cap mispronunciation is a time when Jus typed in HI BRIANNA (his sister) and the iPod said, "Hawaii Brianna." Get it? HI is the abbreviation for Hawaii. We had a good laugh and custom voice would have been nice there.
Although this was not ideal, Proloquo2go is the best, most diverse app out there for communication w/the iPod and now for the iPad.
It does require extensive re-ordering, deleting, editing, adding, subtracting and double checking in order to set it up for Jus or any individual due to it's incongruency in the image vs. item area, category scatergory, and its limited vocabulary list.. For example, more is represented by a picture of several cubes, rather than the ASL sign for more. Many multimodal teaching methods use both ASL and Signing Exact English as a base and partner for PECS and other classroom teaching methods. The great thing is that you can replace the image with your own image (once you learn how to do that). The list of words has many cartoon images of celebrities, but lacks many basic words like string, which is in the vocabulary of many of our ASD kids who love to spin it.
Well, this was not meant to be a critique of proloquo2go, but there is some basic info about it. I am available to help program or set up your initial use of this app if you need it. I wish I would have had me now back then. Does that make sense? Anyhoo, the app took me a good three months to understand, and we have lost it all several times which meant hours and hours of reprogramming, and some I could not remember, which was hard on Jus and our progress.
If you do purchase Proloquo2go, it is about 189.99 and I believe this includes all devices you own, so that you can have the iPod and iPad match and you can have a backup device, which I STRONGLY recommend.
On to the other two I have played with this week:
Both are meant to be beginner touch talk and schedule apps, but neither are user friendly and some of the items on their menu fail to work. When starting any person on the iPod/iPad for communication, it is essential to have your ducks in a row and not have the trainer or educator fumbling over the editing during teaching moments...which in communication should be every moment. These apps are either free or very inexpensive and I would not recommend either one right now, although in theory, they are wonderful additions to the Proloquo2go and ITM. Perhaps some of you have a different experience. If so, please share and educate me and the readers. I was very excited about these when I found them. Would love to know any secrets you may have to their success.
That is my two cents on apps.
Be Well and have a wonderful week.