this is quite interesting - I saw a letter in the Cerebra Bulletin (autumn 09) about communication aids, it was a Mum talking about how bulky her child's communication aid is, and that she had discovered an application for an i-touch/phone that can be used as a lightweight portable communication aid.
It was in the letters page at the back, I know so little about these things, but thought it might be of use/interest to people on here with dc who are non verbal. I can't link to it because I can't find the page yet.
I felt a bit out of my depth linking to it mrsturnip, but I just thought it sounded so good it was worth mentioning it!
The person that wrote about it in cerebra was saying how expensive £3/4k(?) communication aids are, and bulky - I am sure the iphone will have its draw backs, but it sounded like such a good/useful - and as you say much cheaper, tool.
my 5 year old dd is starting to use it and has got the hang of touching and letting go and scrolling through the icons, she sees it as a toy at the moment but hopefully as she gets older and her ability to focus widens she will find it a useful communication aid, I've also just got the free upgrade which has a nice english accent!!
We are getting one for ds for Christmas! No-one in the family ever knows what to get him and he hates opening presents so everyone is going to contribute. We have already got the application as it was on special offer so now got to find a reasonably-priced phone to go with it. Does anyone know if it is possible to buy some sort of protective cover? I'm worried it will go the same way as the school VOCA that was taken away from Ds after he threw it at the wall for the second time! (£6000 worth ).
You can get lots of different covers range from posh leather ones to funky coloured jelly ones that bounce when you drop them pixel, you can get them from the apple shop or amazon, you can also get stick on screen protectors to stop scratches.
it is great, and has really helped us in some tricky situations with dd1 - as soon as she is stressed, all her language goes out the window! it was a godsend on holiday, as obv had loads of new situations for dd1, and to explain/show them to her first took the heat out of a few days out.
dd1 cannot use it herself, but ordinarily she is verbal and so arguably she does not need to.
she can (and does!) use a few other apps, though. namely games and puzzles to keep her occupied at the checkout, etc (was v handy on the aeroplane too)
ds couldnt use it either but i'd LOVE an iphone! need to wait till O2's monopoly on them ends though or buy an unlocked one so i can stick it on my ridiculously cheap vodaphone contract! i did send a link to the proloque to my friend though as it would be fab for her daughter and she already has an ipod touch
I would consider getting insurance, if there is a chance of it being thrown, though you can get protective covers, for the screen too - I happen to know what happens when an iphone without a cover gets dropped .