Sunday, November 6, 2011

I am looking for an app . . .

Here's the situation.  Over the last 5 weeks, I have spent countless hours in front of my computer, searching for our communication solution.  Reading blogs, joining Facebook groups, sending emails (mostly to strangers), watching YouTube videos, reading review websites, joining groups for speech therapists and AAC specialists, scheduling meetings with sales reps from the big devices companies, etc.  We are looking at designated communication devices, we are looking at iPad apps, we are looking at low tech PECs books----we are open to everything (and probably the best solution will incorporate something high tech and something low tech).

I am literally trying everything that I know how to do. 

But I need your help.

The iPad apps---well, they are slippery.  A moving target, literally, as new apps are released daily and old ones are modified and fine tuned.   I'm learning as fast as I can, but I am 1000% sure that somewhere out there exists a person (or, more likely, several people) who can help to answer my questions and guide me in my app search.

Help me find that person, please.

Spead the link to this blog post to everyone you know who might have helpful input----or to anyone you know who might know someone else who has helpful input.  (I'm thinking SLPs, speech therapists, iPad people, assistive tech people, people who have speech devices, people who use iPads for kids with special needs, teachers at special needs school, augementative and alternative communication people, etc).

Here's what I'm looking for:
-A full speech generating communication app
-The app should make it is for me to model correct grammar ("I want to eat a bagel" instead of "I want bagel" or "I eat bagel")
-The app should make tenses (play, plays, played, playing) clear, accessible choices
-The app should make plurals an easy option
-The app should not be solely text-based.  Maya is only 3.5, she can't read yet.  *It's ok with me if it starts as text based but I can take the time to add in images on the tiles.  I will take the time to do that stuff, as long as it's possible.
-The app should have a QWERTY keyboard section

Does an app like that exist?  Or is one on the horizon?

The bottom line:
I need an app with growth potential.  I don't want a simple app that might be a good fit for a young child.  I want something big, that I can start exposing her to, that will last.  It's not fair to teach her an app, then take it away and teach another one.  I need something that is big that I can model correct grammar with, and that she can start using too.

Other info:
-We have Proloquo2Go, but it seems cumbersome with the folder layout.  "I want to eat a bagel" takes a large amount of manuevering.  Fine for an adult, or older child, but I'm not sure about a young one.
-I'm eyeing TouchChat with WordPower because I like the word prediction---that seems close to what I'm envisioning--but I can't get an answer as to whether I can add images to the text based tiles. 

Please email me: with any information that you have---or, to pass along the email addresses of people who might know.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Maya thanks you, too.

As always, I'll pass along anything that I learn here, so that anyone who's interested can benefit from the research, too. 


Anonymous said...

You are an amazing warrior mom - keep blazing the trail! Every ounce of your determination helps me wake up out of my depression and feel empowered to help my son. It isn't the google searches, the therapists, the books, medical info, or statistics that help us our on journey.... it is moms like you who wake up everyday looking for answers and creating possibilities. Our kids didn't come with Owner's Manuals and there aren't any books to predict or offer answers. It is our hope, as mothers, that drives their success and gives our kids the ability to believe in themselves. We are their voice and we will use it to help our children navigate this world. Please continue to share info and successes. Thank you!

Foxxy One said...

I just emailed my son's speech therapists (he has two - one at school and one private). I know the private therapist had something up on the wall about SLP & Apps so maybe they would know. I'll shoot you an email if I hear about anything that fits the bill.

Súkí aquí said...

You might want to see this video, "Only God Could Hear Me" on YouTube (I hope this link works). It's about severely handicapped people who communicate through Minspeak, a
hieroglyphics-based communication device. Although Maya doesn't have their physical limitations, perhaps the video will give you some ideas.

Dana said...

Suki aqui---what funny timing---I actually tweeted about that movie last week, and shared it on the blog's Facebook page a few days ago! Thanks for reminding me to put it up here, too, where everyone can see it :)

Pam said...

We would like the opportunity to show you what you can do to customize Proloquo2Go and tell you about our major update, Proloquo2Go 2.0, which will include two new vocabularies based on a core word organization. (free update to existing users)
Please email us at, and let us share some information specific to your daughter's needs.
Pam Harris
AssistiveWare Support Team

Foxxy One said...

I have found a lot of resources on LinkedIn and just searched and found this group "iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad for Speech Therapy"

You may want to reach out to them as they may know of an app that fits your bill.

Wani said...

I am in the midst of finding a communication solution for my two special needs kids. You posts are extremely helpful in navigating the assistive technology world! Thanks!