Product Review: Use Proloquo2Go to Help Children Who Have Difficulty Speaking

by Rachel

in Book and Product Reviews

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Being able to communicate effectively, whether because of a physical or developmental disability can be extremely frustrating. For the child, it means enduring endless time until the other person finally gets what you want to say. This can often take away the spontaneity of speech, which is such a crucial part of communicating with others.

But what if you could use the technology that everyone is using today, in order to help your child communicate with others with a fun, easy to use product?

Enter Proloquo2Go. It’s developed by a firm called AssistiveWare, and uses an iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. At $189, it’s MUCH cheaper than other dynamic talking devices out there, and the tech support is excellent. It comes preloaded with all kinds of categories (sports, emotions, foods, hobbies, etc.) but you can also program individual words, phrases, and sentences.

You can also program individual icons, choose from various kids’ or adults’ voices, and control the volume. You can use this for children who have very little speech, but it’s also good for kids who have some speech, but not enough to get by. For example, some users have programmed it with things their children have done (“I went to the dentist today).

Your child can use the program to initiate conversations with teachers and other caretakers, who can then ask simple questions about what happened. You can also let your child practice saying the real-life sentences he hears, in order to gain confidence in saying those sentences on his own.

It’s a great solution for teens and young adults who want to be like their friends, but it’s easy to use and to program, even for non-techies. If your child has autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, developmental disabilities, or apraxia then this is a great product that looks “cool” and is easy to transport.

 

Note: Your child will need to have moderately good fine motor and pointing skills in order to use this product. Most kids seem to be able to manage, though.

Other iPad apps for kids with autism:

It’s not always easy to know whether a particular app for kids on the spectrum lives up to the product designer’s claims. Here’s a link to a NYT article that gives extensive resources of sites that have checked out extensive numbers of apps for the iPad:

http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/finding-good-apps-for-children-with-autism/?emc=eta1

 
UPDATE: One of my readers (thanks Mike!) suggested a new, Android alternative to Proloquo2Go: Sonoflex. It plays on pretty much every mainstream device out there, including the Kindle Fire, iPad, IPod, and iPhone. It’s also much cheaper. Definitely worth checking it out.

Here’s a video of the product:

Anyone tried both? I’d love it if you’d comment below and tell me why you think one is better than the other.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

julie semones November 4, 2011 at 7:51 pm

can this software be used on android tablet or only with apple product?

Rachel November 6, 2011 at 8:35 am

Sorry, unfortunately it can only be used on apple devices.

From the site:

Proloquo2Go runs on a wide range of iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch models, including the second generation iPod touch (with built-in speaker), the third generation iPod touch (with built-in speaker), the fourth generation iPod touch (with built-in camera), the second generation iPhone (iPhone 3G), the third generation iPhone (iPhone 3Gs), the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4s, the original iPad, and the iPad 2.

At present Proloquo2Go requires iOS 4.2.1 or later. As the first generation iPhone and iPod touch cannot run iOS 4, they cannot run the latest version of Proloquo2Go, which is 1.6 As a result, we would strongly recommend not to get the first generation iPhone or iPod touch (the original ones), even though you can find them cheaply on the secondary market.

Kathy Roman February 1, 2012 at 4:07 am

Hello,
My daughter is 7 years old she has developmental delay apraxia and PDD NOS she has some sentences now but she can’t color or writing. Even though, she can do other little things in fine motor skills. Do you think that she can use this program?

Thanks,

Rachel February 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Yes, this would be fine for her. There is no coloring or writing required: you use a touch-screen device with pictures that also speaks. I’ve added a video so you can see how it works.

Rachel February 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Julie-

Just wanted to update this for you. Proloquo2Go can’t yet be used on the android, BUT you can use Tap to Talk on a Kindle Fire,iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Nintendo DSi, DSi XL, 3DS, DS Lite, DS, Nook Color, Nook Tablet, Android devices, BlackBerry PlayBook, PC or Mac or you can try the Dell Streak. Also, here’s a link to communication apps for the android platform: http://www.iautism.info/en/2011/03/25/list-of-apps-for-android/.

Good luck!

Mike October 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm

There is an Android alternative called Sonoflex. Its much cheaper than Proloquo2Go and works on cheaper hardware. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tobii.sonoflex

Rachel October 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Thanks Mike! I’ve added a video of Sonoflex, so everyone can get a good idea of what the program is like.
It seems pretty good: cheaper, and runs on a larger variety of platforms (including the Kindle Fire), than Proloquo2Go.

Anyone out there tried both but thought one was markedly better than the other? I’d love to hear why in the comments.

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