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Any of you use Assistive Communication on iPad for their nonverbal ASD DC?

(11 Posts)
eskimomama Sun 19-Mar-17 13:17:23

Hi all,

Wondering if any of you already use assistive & alternative communication apps for their non verbal DC?
My DD (7, non verbal ASD) has been using PECS more and more lately, thanks to our new ABA center, and they're thinking of switching her to an iPad. DD already has an iPad Air which she uses a LOT for playing (we are fine with that), so we'll buy a new iPad mini just for that. Also because a smaller tablet is more practical and less trouble to replace it if it's lost (still too expensive, but less than the big iPad!) ...

There are a few AAC that look interesting, my favourite is Proloquo2Go, pricey (£200) but it looks great in theory. Our ABA center would prefer a much cheaper and more basic one (for the sake of keeping costs down, which I'm not super keen on (Niki Talk Designer, £40). I think Niki Talk looks like nothing more than a basic online PECS, so if we spend money on an iPad, we may as well get a really good app?

Would love to hear your experiences with those.


PolterGoose Sun 19-Mar-17 15:32:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

F1ipFlopFrus Sun 19-Mar-17 18:36:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

notgivingin789 Sun 19-Mar-17 22:04:23

Yep ! smile DS is very much verbal but he has an additional diagnosis of verbal dyspraxia so as his getting older his speech is getting difficult to understand. He uses the Proloquo2go and he loves it and has helped a lot with his speech. Just to note, it's not really about the app. All these communication apps are easy to use. It's how you implement it, which takes a lot of work !

If you go on and go on to their communication series. They have loads of video seminars on how you can implement high tech AAC's... with playing games, reading, in every day life. Assistive ware has huge resources and videos on how to implement proloquo2go ( they created it).

Do I think it's worth 200 pounds. You bet I do. Though if you have something high tech, it's best to have something low tech. So I have created DS a communication book which has all his Proloquo2go symbols and I use them in places where I can't use the iPad In the Bathroom, eating and drinking etc.

notgivingin789 Sun 19-Mar-17 22:06:41

Flipflop it's not about changing the words on the app. You personalise it over time. But it's about using the core word vocabulary. Proloquo2go has the crescendo vocab.. which are the core words we use mostly in everyday situations " I , we, go, stop". All of these communication apps we have the core word vocab too.

notgivingin789 Sun 19-Mar-17 22:11:20

Not heard of the communication apps you've wrote down. But I'd be tempted to buy the Proloquo2go...simply because they have a huge support network...with their Facebook group, videos, e learning videos etc.

Just to note how would your ABA provider implement the P2G ? I've seen some ABA tutors use these communications apps more with Manding things..requesting or with promoting... and I just want to bang my head on the desk. As by doing this, it deters the user from using the app.

eskimomama Mon 20-Mar-17 17:35:48

Thanks! It's always good knowing different opinions.

notgiving that's very useful info. It was also my understanding that Proloquo has a lot more coverage/support than the other apps, which was a good sign for me. We'll also need to use in 2 languages (French/English) as we're a bilingual family, and I think they allow that.

I don't know how our ABA provider will implement it, especially if their preference was for a cheaper app (I think itheir cheaper app is kind of heavily promoted by the official French PECS provider, and they're very much pro-everything French PECS says). I'm not sure I am able to implement it on my own (I certainly didn't manage with PECS by myself, DD was only using it very sparingly).

What do you mean with Manding things? not sure I understand

And do you use an iPad Mini? and what kind of accessories (belt, protection, etc.)?

notgivingin789 Mon 20-Mar-17 18:52:37

That's alright op !

You need to check if the Proloquo2go is compatible on the iPad mini.. simply because it supports devices over OSX10 and above. It should be ok. But I don't know, so don't take my word for it.

You can implement the Proloquo2go on your own. I highly recommend, if you do decide to purchase it, to join the proloquo2go Facebook group. The thing is, learning how to use any high tech programme is very easy to use (Assistive ware have details e learning videos on how to use the app) the hardest bit is knowing how to implement it. If you would like your DS to get assessed to see if a high tech system is needed and to try out different programmes to see which one he his with best. Then that's different. You can get your sons speech therapist to refer your DS to a AAC hub service, they have many located round the UK. The criteria is hard though.. 1. Your DS has to be motivated to communicate...2. There has to be a clear difference in his receptive language and expressive language-- so his receptive language needs to be much higher than his expressive and you have to exhausted all low tec options. DS has been accepted for an assessment at one of these hubs.

ABA uses a term called Manding.. which basically means requesting. Direct prompt is discouraged when using AAC but some direct prompting techniques can be used if the child is not getting how to use the AAC by modelling. There's something called the LAMP therapy.. if you YouTube this.. that some therapists use. But generally modelling on the AAC is the best way in order for the child to use the system. I've seen some ABA therapist just use the AAC to request "Jimmy you want fish ?!! Show me fish on here (AAC)".

notgivingin789 Mon 20-Mar-17 18:53:39

Sorry, DD has the latest iPad version. He uses a very protective case.. no strap, though you can buy one and that's about it !

eskimomama Mon 20-Mar-17 19:27:49

thanks not giving !! super useful. I will look up all these things. I get what you mean with the manding bit, and i fully agree!!
DD def has more receptive language than expressive, which has been a huge problem until now and she has very few requests apart from her usual favourite things. For instance she doesn't "say" her emotions or pain with PECS (yet?). At the same time PECS can be very limiting (our speech therapist thinks it's too limited to "I want XYZ", and older children have more things to say - long debate, I know but an AAC could help her express more things, and so I hope)

It sounds def worth it trying out different apps to see which one works best for us.
I (very quickly) tried Tippy Talk for instance but we couldn't make any use of it as it works with text messages. Great for some families, but not for us.

notgivingin789 Mon 20-Mar-17 19:43:18

Exactly, I've heard the same thing about PECS too. Though the mechanics of it.. going up to someone and requesting is good. But there's more to communication than requesting. Check out other apps and see. Have a look at Liberator too.. which is another communication app.. apparently it's very good with the grammar side of things.

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