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Communication Aid help and ideas for a CP toddler.

(14 Posts)
sneezecakesmum Wed 25-Jul-12 20:20:35

DGS has CP and unable to speak clearly although his understanding is apparently normal for his age. He can press buttons and ipads and the SALT has given us a piece of equipment where we can put a variety of frames over the pad and set it to speak what is in the frame (at the moment nothing!) We can print out photos of his toys etc and will start with 2 frames to offer a choice. He can already press the pads and is very interested in the thing.

SALT gave us ideas to start with but we would be interested if anyone has experience of using something similar and where they started.

He will be 4 in september.

lisad123 Wed 25-Jul-12 20:49:38

I would seriously consider an iPad, there are a number of apps that do this including tap to talk and icomm

cansu Wed 25-Jul-12 21:00:24

Proloqo2go for I pad has been very good for us.

sneezecakesmum Wed 25-Jul-12 21:05:48

We already have an ipad and he plays games on it, but this is from the SALT equipment library so it will be something he can take to nursery/school to help him communicate. I can look at prologo2go though to see how it uses the picture prompts.

Its just where to start. He is quite clever and picks things up well. His hand use is not good enough for clear makaton but if I hold my hands up and say this one is trike and this on is swing, point to what you want, he can grasp that concept, so how do we get that to this pad thing? ....think i just answered my own question!!! grin seems such a faff though!

sneezecakesmum Wed 25-Jul-12 21:07:42

cansu £129 shock

sneezecakesmum Wed 25-Jul-12 21:12:57

Getting the idea from icomm free version. I must say the ipad stuff seems a lot easier as the SALT equipment is all manual, but you can record on it.

lisad123 Wed 25-Jul-12 21:14:33

Look at taptotalk app then. They give small amount of choices and say the word too. You can trail for free

We use proloquo2go at school (I'm a TA in my son's SS) and it's very good.. tho it is american (so comes with some very american words and word groupings IMO) However it is totally editable right down to downloading in english voice and it is very good.

I like Grid 2 communication software too, tho it is less easy to edit on the ipad.

Have you had a go with any of the free ipad comms apps? Taptotalk is free to download just to have a go at some basics.

It is SO SO SO worth getting him using it now.. we have some fantastic comms users in school..and recently had a university student working with us, who has quite severe CP and no speech, but who used her ipad at amazing speed to chat with us and to work with the children.. go for it!

Marne Wed 25-Jul-12 23:10:29

We have just got an i-pad for dd2 (ASD, severe language delay) and she's using 'grid player' which is a free communication app, for a free app it has a lot on it and you can add your own symbols/words.

Sneezecakesmama Thu 26-Jul-12 14:01:42

Thanks all we will look into all those apps and duplicate some of the ideas onto the SALT pad. Not ready yet to let a 4 year old have anything other than supervised use.

He is currently watching the lingo show and answering (after a fashion) in mandarin confused

BeeMom Thu 26-Jul-12 15:06:07

I have about a million opinions and recommendations regarding iPads and communication... but #1 - if you spend the money on an Otterbox case, the iPad should be safe in your DC's hands. My dd has an iPad, and it has bounced down an entire flight of steps and landed on ceramic tile and been just fine (sadly, so did dd, but fortunately, she was fine, too).

As to software, I have had an opportunity to attend several training sessions for different apps, so it depends on cost, needs and funding. I'd be happy to pitch in, though.

If you choose an iPad as your device of choice, it is best if communication is its only purpose - no games, no other apps, just communication. Especially in cognitively "intact" children, if there are games to play, the likelihood that they will want to take the time to communicate if they could be playing instead is less than stellar. If you are seeking funding from an outside agency (whether governmental or private), they may be reluctant to pay for an iPad because it can be used for so much more... but they will pay 10x the cost for a "dedicated" device.

Makes no sense to me either...

Aside from that, your DC's motor control is very important. Finding an app (if the iPad is the way you want to go) that can adjust the size of buttons and number on the screen is crucial. You can start with 2 or 4, then, as control improves, you can reduce the size of the buttons (with blank buttons in between) and then the number of active buttons on the screen. There are overlays for the iPad available to put a tactile barrier between buttons, but they do not necessarily fit with a protective case. I can show you how to make a divider at home that is both easy and a universal fit.

Lots to consider, but I'll answer what I can from the minimal experience and exposure I've had.

sneezecakesmum Thu 26-Jul-12 19:21:19

The communication pad given by SALT has a grid system built in which can be 1 - 8 things. We are going to start with that and work our way up to ipad type aids or an ipad <desperately clutches beloved ipad to chest> As DGS will be taking it to school/Nursery, I would rather their equipment broke!

Thats very good advice re not putting games on it as it has mainly games, teletubbies, night garden etc blush He would definitely kick off if presented with a bunch or boring symbols!

I have some i-ballz but a solid Otterbox case looks much better for the future. DGSs motor control is reasonable enough to push down with a finger (actually prefers thumb though) so I am quite happy he will get it. Need to start taking photos of his swing, trike etc. Won't bother with food as he's not in the least interested grin Toys, and just offer choices at first. It will probably take a couple of years to build up a conversation type vocabulary and that will need an ipad or some such.

He has got a fantastic big touch screen monitor too which plays cbeebies, and helpkidzlearn (all brilliant) which ipad strangely doesnt. Will look on the net rather than an app store for aids.

cheers all

saintlyjimjams Sat 28-Jul-12 00:17:57

We found proloquo2go didn't work for ds1. He has a Vantage Lite which he is using with a system called LAMP. He's flown with it.

Megs16 Thu 16-Jun-16 13:28:01

Hi, I work for a charity that fund raises to provide communication equipment and software. We cover all equipment from iPads to Eye Gaze.
We provide the equipment on a lifelong loan basis so we also maintain the items should they go wrong. We are The Sequal Trust, have a look at our web site If you know anyone who has a child with communication issues, whether non verbal or physically disabled tell them about us.

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