(CBS News) For severely autistic people, communication is often impossible, leaving them unable to convey what they want or need. But as Lesley Stahl reports, touch-screen apps designed for tablet computers like the iPad are now giving autistic people new ways to express themselves, some for the first time. Teachers and parents are hailing the technology as a breakthrough, one that can reveal the true depth of knowledge and emotion trapped behind a wall of silence.
This segment featured a number of important examples of how Proloquo2Go (along with other apps for autism and children with special needs) are having an impact on the lives of children with special needs and their families. It can sometimes be difficult to get to the full video segment on the 60 Minutes website, so we have embedded the entire 14 minute clip below:
While we have hesitations about specific apps designated only for autismÂ (i.e., apps for Autism), it is always important to raise awareness on autism and it’sÂ impact on children and their families. It is incredible to see children communicate with their families, some for the first time in their lives and Proloquo2Go has truly revolutionized the use of augmentative and alternative communication for families.
Benefits of augmentative and alternative communication apps like Proloquo2Go
Proloquo2Go is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app on a non-dedicated device (a device not only used for AAC). We wanted to share some of the benefits of AAC, according to research in this area (see a recent article by Cafiero):
- Supports functional spontaneous communication
- Facilitates access to social information
- Facilitates inclusion at home, school, and community
- Facilitates greater independence in the home, school, and community
- Facilitates access to literacy experiences
- Reduces frustration
- Provides voice and ears to people with communication difficulties
- Facilitates an improved sense of self concept
Proloquo2Go and other AAC apps are definitely tools that every speech and language pathologist or assistive technology specialist should have “in their pocket” for children that they work with. While it isn’t appropriate for every child (and we strongly emphasize this, as there is no “one size fits all” for implementation of AAC) the barriers to using Proloquo2Go as an AAC app are very low and easy for families to learn to use effectively, with the help of a professional.
Proloquo2Go and inov8 Educational Consulting
inov8 Educational Consulting is proud to be one of theÂ Proloquo2go Canadian Resource CentersÂ that helps families of children with special needs learn toÂ effectivelyÂ use this app. We are using Proloquo2Go as well as other excellent AAC apps with children, adolescents and adults — but there is also much more out there. You might be interested in our special series, “There’s a Special App for That” that focuses on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch apps for children with special needs:
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