(I'm gladly accepting app recommendations that work on toddler touch screen skills, by the way. Or really any fun, motivating baby/toddler apps.)
Over the past few days, and with the help of her speech therapist and teacher, we've been figuring out how to customize her new communication app---Proloquo2go (henceforth known as P2G). This app is kind of considered to be the gold standard right now, and it's the reason I thought the iPad would be worth getting now, as opposed to waiting for the newer iPads to come out a few months from now. I know Maya's trying to communicate constantly (through sounds, signs, and gestures), and I didn't want to wait a few more months to give her a vocabulary and voice at her fingertips (literally).
P2G has an extensive vocabulary database----tons and tons of categories and words that we just don't need right now. It will speak for the user (with a voice that you can select). It will say anything that you type, and you can make word buttons (with pictures) for anything . . . one of the first test buttons that I made was "Parker" :)
Once you get the hang of adding categories and buttons, it's pretty easy to do. The most challenging part, by far, is figuring out how to set it up so that my 2.5 year old will have some options that flow in a logical manner, rather than being cumbersome and difficult to navigate.
We've put everything into the "Quick Sets" category that's on the Home screen. Here are the main categories that I've added so far:
If you open the "Let's Get Dressed" category, you end up here:
This is "Arts and Crafts". I've tried to be consistent about repeating"I want" "More" "Please" and "All done" in most of the categories. Here you can see a clear combination of using the symbols from the program ("I want", "Please", "All done") and photos that I took of Maya's specific things ("Crayons", "Fingerpaint", "Play-doh"). I think the photos may initially be easier for her to immediately understand.
The "Snacks" category, which is inside the "Food" category:
Here's a video of how I've set it up so far. I would be really interested to hear feedback, since we're kind of carving our own path over here. (Pictures of the therapists have been replaced with stick figures to protect the innocent) :):
*As always, if you see a white area and a play button, click play and the video will appear
I hope that this might help out some families who are considering the app, or have it and are unsure of how to set it up----I also hope that if you're thinking "Yikes, what a loon---there's a much better way to do this" you'll fill me in on how I should change what I'm doing :)