By Alison, the American iMum
It’s important that EVERYONE on the autism spectrum have a voice! Even those who are nonverbal have a lot to say. As a part of our #Activate4Autism movement, we asked The iMUMS to share their expertise about the AAC apps that are helping autistic individuals communicate.
Children with autism can have a variety of difficulties with speech ranging from late to speak, articulation difficulties and even speech apraxia. Many of these can be treated via speech therapy. Below is a list reviewed by The iMums which may be helpful for finding Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) apps for your child.
Proloquo2Go by AssistiveWare is an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) App, a universal app that can be used on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The purpose of the app is to give users a voice and the ability to communicate. I found Proloquo2Go to be an app that surpassed my expectations for performance. I was blown away with the available help on the website and the seemingly endless custom options that were very easy to learn and implement.”
Alexicom Elements Child Home by Alexicom Tech is a fully functional AAC solution geared specifically to young children. It comes with 70 preconfigured pages that include the vocabulary and associated pictures that a child would encounter going through his day. These include eating, dressing, washing, and a wide variety of leisure activity pages.
AVAZ Pro is an outstanding AAC app designed for children on the Autism spectrum and those with complex communication needs. The app was developed in collaboration with 25 schools and 500 children to help those with autism achieve the most effective communication possible. As with most AAC apps, there are highly customizable settings for editing page lay-out, vocabulary, icons, and folders. The home page is your starting point. You can select from 1 to 40 pictures to be shown on the screen per page depending on the child’s communication level or visual limitations. There are 3 pre-set levels (1: 15 pics, 2: 24 pics, 3: 40 pics) to help customize the board to your child’s needs. Symbolstix icons (similar to Board Maker) are used to illustrate the concept of each button. The buttons are color coded by parts of speech (i.e. verbs are green).
So Much 2 Say by Close 2 Home apps is a versatile tool for basic communication. It was created expressly for the highly impacted segment of the special needs population. The app is recommended for individuals who are non verbal and lack an effective means to communicate basic needs and wants.
Total Talk is an excellent AAC app designed for easy and efficient communication by nonverbal users. The app was developed by Ellenson Integration Enterprises, Inc. A quick start guide makes it easy to begin using the app and the complete user manual provides a more thorough overview of the app. The home page is organized with a message output area at the top, a dock or menu on the left side of the screen and the main grid with word buttons and folders (default is 6×6). The main grid gives access to several commonly used words (yes/no, I, you, want) and folders which are organized by category (i.e. people, verbs, activities, places, things, questions). Any words selected will appear in the message output box and can be verbalized by pressing on the box or the “speak” button in the dock.
Clicker Communicator by Crick Software I initially ran through Clicker Communicator, the new AAC app from Crick Software and thought where’s the period, no grammar engine and this doesn’t do everything some of my other AAC apps do. Upon reflection, however, I decided that’s ok. Verbal exchanges are not run through Grammarly before being uttered and as my own kids made clear, most sound like texts or tweets anyway. For children, especially language impaired ones, the focus should be on what they say rather than how they say it.
*Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. She loves sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
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