Augmentative communication devices can open up the world for kids who have trouble speaking, but they can empty out the pocketbooks of parents who try to pay for them, or the patience of those who try to get school districts to foot the bill. Even when the devices can be obtained, there's no assurance that kids won't be embarrassed to be seen as different for talking through a big box, or tire of toting the thing around.
For all those reasons, Proloquo2Go seems like the right idea for the future of augmentative communication. It puts those menus of words and snippets of sounds on an iPhone or iPod Touch, creating a smaller, lighter, cheaper, and infinitely cooler way to communicate, particularly for teens and adults who can easily manipulate its multiple screens. USA Today recently wrote up the app as a help to kids with autism, and it may offer a good way for families to experiment with augmentative communication without having to deal with the cost or paperwork of getting a $5,000 or $10,000 device.
At the moment, you can download Proloquo2Go from the iTunes App Store for an introductory price of $149.99, or buy it bundled with an iPod Touch for about $550. On the Proloquo2Go site, you can get more detailed information about the app, including a downloadable manual and support.
Speaking of cool apps for special children, I recently blogged about iPrompts, which puts picture schedules and prompts on iPhones and iPod Touches, and now I've added an interview with Dan and Carey Tedesco, whose work with their autistic son inspired the creation of iPrompts, to my Enterprising Parents profiles. Read it and see what other creative solutions they're working on.
Have you found any good apps for your special child? Have you used Proloquo2Go or iPrompts? Would you? Share your thoughts on these electronic developments in the comments.
Photo courtesy of Prologuo2Go