iPhone or iPad App for People With Special Needs
Date of Review:5-12-10
Name of App
Ease of UseMedium
Our son Kyle is 11y.o. & dx'd with ASD. He has some speech (uses common phrases, answers Y/N and simple choice questions) but doesn't initiate thoughts.
We've tried AACs (talkers) in the past like Dynavox & TechTalk, but they were awkward to transport & expensive.
ProLoQuo2Go is an app that is very similar to expensive talkers. It comes preloaded with LOTS of categories (emotions, foods, animals, sports, hobbies, etc.). You can program icons with individual words (eg, "I" "want" "milk" "cookies"...etc.) and/or you can program icons with sentences or phrases. It has various voices to choose for the audio, and good volume control.
Since Kyle has some speech, we use it to help model what he COULD say. Each night we add sentences of what he has done ("Last night I went to soccer practice with my friend Matthew." or "I did my math worksheet on addition and read a chapter of Horrible Harry.") Then he can "tell" his teachers and friends about his evening, and they can ask simple questions. It helps him hear real-life comments (over and over!), then he repeats the sentences. We feel it is helping to build his confidence and word bank.
We also program study guide questions/answers so he can study for tests with it. And vocabulary words & definitions. It makes test studying more fun...and audio!
We use the preloaded emotions screen to help him tell us what he is feeling (vs. me writing out lots of feelings, or trying to find a printed sheet in my piles!). We edited the preloaded food screens to include his favorite foods, and use it at meal & snack time.
The app is fairly easy to learn and program. The i-pod is portable, age-appropriate, and FUN! We added an Audubon bird app (Kyle loves bird calls), so that is his motivator/reward to complete homework. We also added the Periodic Table and a math app...more resources!
We did order the iMainGo speakercase. It tends to "disguise" the i-pod touch and make it less attractive to kids at school, but still portable.
Tech support for ProLoQuo2Go has been fabulous by e-mail. They have responded to us within a day on each question, & answers are helpful!
Using an i-pod touch does require good fine motor & pointing skills.
The i-pod touch was ~$189---and the app was ~$189...the case was ~$40. For $420, it is a super, age-appropriate, portable, fun system that will grow with Kyle (as we add apps, and can change our ProLoQuo2Go strategies as he gets older).