We are back with our second installment of iPad apps that can be used to increase communication skills :)!
Today’s featured app is Proloquo2go – I am sure many of you have heard of it 🙂
Proloquo2go is a communication app that is made specifically for the iPad ( can not be used with Android or Fire Tablets). The app is made by Assitiveware (https://www.assistiveware.com).
Proloquo2go is primarily an app that can be use for children and adults who have communication deficits. The application works with pictures laid out in a grid. When a picture is pressed, the app will speak the word. Full customization can be given to these grid layouts- it can include specific foods , toys, and favorite people!
For example, when looking at pictures below, if you were to press the “food” icon ( bottom row- 2nd button), a new page would pop up and show food choices. These can be fully customized for specific foods and drinks that you or your child may enjoy over other items.
Some of the many benefits of using this app is to help your child communicate their wants and needs, to be able to answer questions, to comment on situations, and to engage socially with others. This can be done by choosing multiple pictures and folders within the application itself. A child can press on a folder called “about me” and can state their name , favorite toy , and other important information that can be shared with others 🙂
A major, major, major concern we hear ( almost on a daily basis at Speech Therapy For All) is…
“I am afraid if I use this app with my child, my child will not talk”
Let me be clear – using a communication device or software can actually increase your child’s ability to speak.
Traditional speech therapy can work on increasing a child’s overall language skills through a variety of treatment approaches. One way we work on increasing overall word and sound production is through imitation. If the child isn’t able to repeat words or sounds – other therapies can be used to try and assist ( Prompt therapy, DTTC therapy, sign language, etc…).
But what about when the child wants to tell you something? What happens if they are screaming and pointing to random things in your kitchen, play room, and you are frantically searching and playing detective to figure out what they need?
By using a communication app, you can work on teaching you child to point to a picture before a meltdown can occur. After you figure out what is needed – then – you can work on trying to have the child repeat back the word(s). At this point – if a child is calm – you can use some of the techniques your speech pathologist showed you to work on increasing vocalizations, sounds, and words. When a child is using a communication device, they can feel empowered that they are able to directly communicate their thoughts directly.
One technique that can be used is to pair facial prompting with the use of a communication device. Say your child wants to eat a snack. Your child may be whining or pointing or jumping up and down at a cabinet and now you have to try and find our what your child wants.
You can now turn on Proloquo2go , prompt the child to press the “food ” icon ( you can use hand over hand if needed), and choose the food item they want. Most of the time, when they find the correct picture, the child is usually very happy that they are understood and are in a great mood.
Now, you can try and pair the word for “Eat” with facial prompting after they pressed the “Eat” button- trying to teach the motor pattern of stretching out your lips to make the /eeeeee/ sound. This can be repeated many times while the child presses the “Eat” button, you can keep pairing it with a facial prompt to help increase vocalizations.
This can now be moved to the specific items ( cookies, candy, juice) etc… Once a child is able to tell you what they want, and can hear the word said numerous times, this can increase their overall ability to speak.
Here at Speech Therapy For All, we have trained Alternative Augmentative Communication Specialists that can assist (from potentially helping choose communication software, to teaching how to pair using software with speech attempts) in multiple ways. Please feel free to reach out today for a free consult 🙂