Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

App Promotes Communications

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

App Promotes Communications

Article excerpt

Does your child have a communication device? Is it too big? Outdated? Heavy? Or is there some other reason your child doesn't want to use it? Are you looking for a more accessible way for your child to communicate?

Proloquo2Go is a full-featured augmentative and alternative communication application that can be used with an iPad, iPod, iPhone. This app is helpful for individuals who have difficulty communicating, by promoting language development. It provides text to speech communication with a library of over 14,000 pictures, conjugations, vocabulary, and phrases. Proloquo2Go has many unique features, including two preprogrammed vocabulary tools, unique and natural sounding speech-to-text voices, customizable features that make the application suitable for everyone. Core Word and Basic Communication are the two vocabulary organizational tools that are already available on the device. Core Word focuses more on access to the most used words in the English language, including a wide variety of vocabulary that allows for growth and expression. For example, it has single words that may include "I," "can," and "do." Basic Communication program provides one to two level words to promote and advance communication skills. Some example phrases that you may find in Basic Communication are "I want ..." or "I need ..." Proloquo2Go produces these words and phrases through tapping or touching buttons with symbols and pictures, or by typing on the on-screen keyboard with advanced word prediction.

BENEFITS

* The device and application has a relatively low cost compared to other devices. If you already own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod there is no need to purchase any other device.

* Once the app is purchased it can be used on any apple device. The application is a one-time purchase for iPad, iPhone, or iPod!

* The actual Apple devices itself are very compact, light in weight, and easy to transport.

* There are numerous amounts of add-ons to the device. These addons can include carrying cases, speaker cases, etc. All of these add-ons make the device and app much more accessible!

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* The device can be as simple or as complex as you want it. The application itself is customizable.

* The application is easy to navigate through. A simple touch of a button or screen can bring your child to a whole new selection of words.

* Apple devices are considered "cool" devices, which would make a child feel very, included, age-appropriate, and fun.

* The application offers a helpful customer service (n.a., 2011).

DRAWBACKS

* In order to use the application you need to have an Apple device, which would include an iPad, iPhone, or iPod.

* The price of the application and device can still be expensive.

* The application currently only uses an English speaking system.

* The application can take a while to customize to exactly how the child will benefit from it. Customizing the device can get a little overwhelming since there are many options to choose from.

* The app requires that the child have a good amount of fine-motor skills prior to using the device since the child will have to be touching the screen and moving back and forth through words.

So now you are thinking about all the benefits and drawbacks and you think that this would be a good next step for your family and your child, what do you do? …

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