As I mentioned a while back, there’s a decent amount of software that works well with autistic children. We have a few of the smaller free applications loaded onto my old iPod Touch, which we let the Monster play with when he’s being good (or on long car rides). There’s also a good deal of paid software that could help, especially with trying to get the Monster to communicate better.
And he does love his technology.
A few months ago, I mentioned that we were going to be applying for LISS funding for an iPad with Proloquo2Go (see Boys and Their Toys) – our thought is that he likes to make devices make sounds, and it might help him form better sentences and communicate more effectively if he had a device that was prompting him for assembling his wants. As mentioned, he’s only partially verbal, and while AAC has been shown to work well with children even less verbal than him, it was the ‘it can’t hurt’ logic that pushed us in that direction, as well as the opportunity to use the larger-form applications that his special-ed teacher had used with him while he was still on his IFSP.
We got approval about 2 months ago for the funding. But then, nothing.
Yesterday, a box appeared on our front step, with the iPad, an Otterbox Defender case, and the code for the Proloquo2Go software.
We haven’t yet given it to the Monster as we’re still working on customizing Proloquo for words that we think he’ll need and use. We’ve also transferred some of the ABA games we’ve found to the iPad so that they’re ready for him to use when we start up with it either this evening or tomorrow. I’ve been fairly firm about the fact that I want to limit software that is put on the device that’s not specifically for him to use, and we still need to figure out how we’re going to integrate how it’s used as well as how to regulate what he’s allowed to use when (such as making sure he stays in Proloquo2Go when we’re working on homework, etc).
If anyone’s interested, I’ll work on a review of Proloquo2Go after we’ve had a few days to see how he uses it. (I can do likewise if we find any useful software…)