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Archive for the ‘Apps’ Category

A big first today I think. A really big first.

Archie has always liked looking through video cameras and digital cameras. He’s always liked watching himself on videos. But he’s never made the link between someone pointing a camera at him and then taking a photo. So he’s never posed. Not once. Never in eleven years.

Today he discovered Photo Booth on our new iMac.  He quickly worked out that it captures a ‘moment’ so to speak (maybe because it does a countdown that flashes up?) and he started posing. We have pencils in mouth, shoes, him jumping and waving, his favourite postcard. 15 photos of his favourite postcard.  I’ll put  one below now:

Only yesterday I was trying to get a photo of him at surfing where he posed with the instructors – no chance. We had lots of lovely shots, but no posed ones. Today he pulled funny faces. He even said ‘neee’ (cheese) with a grimace. His brother’s were grabbed. I have my first ever photo of all three of them posing.

355 photos later I made him stop. But wow. It feels like a big leap forward in understanding.

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I recently bought a new iPod Touch for Archie’s use. Well I’m hoping to get it free via a special offer from Apple but I seem to have lost the original box, and I need the sticky label from that to claim. I presume it went in the recycling.  I have the internal bits of the box, and the external packaging the box came in, but no actual iPod Touch box. Bizarrely I think I still have the box from the original iPod Touch we bought many years ago. This is typical of my life really.

Anyway irritations aside the iPod Touch is a dream. Super fast and with an inbuilt speaker it really is a super little communication aid. At the moment I have it running Proloquo2go, iPrompts and Time Timer. I love the Time Timer- it does look just like the big clocks, so very familiar, but often we do need to countdown for longer than an hour (which is where iPrompts steps in). We use it mainly for countdowns  but it’s a good little app for choices and for schedules.

I also have a little pre-school literacy app called First Words which Archie surprised me by spending about half an hour at one sitting playing on it.

I’m off to search for more and in the meantime I’m going to add an ‘apps’ category to my blog.

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A useful link provided by Eric Saliers of Speech-Language Pathology Sharing.

He also writes about the iPad. I was really excited when I saw this new device from Apple as I can see it has potential to become a really useful communication aid for Archie. Both through AAC programs such as Proloquo2go and through typing. There’s also Alexicom Tech; an internet based AAC system. It apparently works offline as well.

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I rushed off to bed last night with a migraine, so didn’t really finish having a good look at Proloquo2Go. I’ve had a further play around today and found it is very easy to add new buttons using photos on the iTouch, and easy to shift buttons around so they’re stored in the categories you want. You can also resize the buttons to make them larger if you wish. This quick start guide gives a good indication of the sorts of things you can do with this app.

The only difficulty my son has had is learning to touch and let go. If you touch and hold the iTouch it doesn’t register. I would expect this to come fairly easily and may have arisen because my son is familiar with the boardmaker activity pad which requires the user to touch and hold the buttons for a bit longer.

I’ve also just been told about another app for the iPhone/iTouch called iPrompts which allows you to make visual timetables and has a countdown timer. Two of my favourite things for £29.99!

Video here:

We live on ‘first this, then this’ in our house. Guess what’s going to be my next purchase…..

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pocket

Wow, was my first thought when seeing this. Proloquo2Go is one of the most exciting products I have seen for a long time. An affordable and portable AAC system. All you need is an iPod Touch or iPhone and you’re well away. iPod Touch’s start from a very reasonable £150 -reasonable for an AAC device anyway. You then take a trip to iTunes and download the Proloquo2Go application which currently is available for an introductory price of £84.99 (soon to be rising to £114.99). Hey presto your iPod Touch or iPhone is a pretty powerful AAC device.

I downloaded it today onto my rather ancient iPod Touch. The new generation iTouch comes with inbuilt speakers, but the older models need an external speaker, I managed to find an old, basic portable speaker lying around at home  so have been using that. When Archie came home from school I showed him the application. He picked it up pretty much straight away and was soon asking for “I want apple”.

I’ll spend the next few days customising it so that it’s easier for Archie to find the symbols he commonly uses and I’ll also have a go at adding some photos of familiar items. This sort of versatility is usually only found on devices costing thousands. AssistiveWare who developed the Proloquo2Go application are dedicated to making powerful AAC devices affordable. They say (probably correctly) this can only be achieved by developing software for a consumer, rather than specialist device. Exciting times ahead.

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