I bet Apple didn’t realize that their iTouch and iPod would be so popular with people with autism…but spending $500 for an iTouch with some helpful apps beats buying an augmentative communication device (aug comm.) for $1000 or more. You’ve probably seen the articles about young people with autism being able to communicate using these handheld devices, and I’ve spoken with parents who use them and are very happy with the results. They’re portable, some apps are customizable, and more are being developed all the time (plus, some apps are adaptable for use even though not intended specifically for people with disabilities). Among the more well-known apps for communication and functioning are Proloquo2Go, iConverse, Model Me Going Places, and First-Then Visual Schedules. A speech therapist recommended Cute Math, Herod’s Lost Tomb, Match, Word Magic, and WordWhirl.
Proloquo2Go provides text-to-speech voices and nearly 8000 symbols, with easy expansion and programmability.
iConverse covers 6 basic needs (restroom, eating, drinking, sickness, resting and help). Once pressed, the need displays text and is also read aloud.
Model Me Going Places does exactly that: it shows photos of children using appropriate behavior in 6 different locations (hairdresser, mall, doctor, playground, grocery store, and restaurant). There is also an audio and written description of each photo.
First-Then Visual Schedules allow you to record your own voice, use pictures from the application’s library, or add your own images. You can create schedules while out and about!
Do you have any ideas to share? Please send comments with your nifty ideas to share with other parents…