A casual chat with a single parent left me with much amazement.
He has a five year old son who is autistic, with poor hand-eye coordination and well as the inability to speak. Miraculously, he managed to cure his son’s poor hand-eye coordination in less than a year without any professional help.
This is the amazing part. He did it using the iPad!!
He never thought the iPad would be so beneficial to his child, and it was purely accidental! His son, K, loves watching cartoons. In order to watch his cartoons on Daddy’s iPad, he had to flick through pages of apps, click on the YouTube app and hit the search bar. This series of actions eventually cured his problem of poor hand-eye coordination.
This gave me the inspiration to write today’s post, and a quick google search provided me so much optimism that there is a possible cure for K’s inability to speak. There are many apps which are being developed to help autistic children learn how to speak. These apps help autistic children build sentences using relevant images, giving them a ‘voice’ to speak for the first time.
One significant example I would like to share is Proloquo2Go. This app has been recommended by speech therapists and it is currently under testing in a school for autistic children in Ireland. It might be a solution to teach autistic children how to speak. Like most apple apps, it can be used on the iTouch, iPhone or iPad, making it extremely convenient to bring around.
At the homepage, there are many categories a child can choose from, depending on what he or she might want to communicate across to the other party.
The above is an example of how a child can form his sentences using the app. In addition, the app is extremely user friendly and works in real time. It can be customized to the individual child using their picture and photo vocabulary.
Watch the video for an introduction to how the app works!
There are many opportunities the digital media (in this case, the iPhone, iTouch or iPad) can provide for learning, whether or not it is for people with or without disability. I believe so much more can be done, and it is only a matter of time before these opportunities get explored.
I am definitely going to recommend this app to K’s father, and cross my fingers that a few months down the road he would be able to tell me that K has learnt the ability to speak in full sentences!