iPhone app for people with autism

Our son Gus doesn’t talk. I can tell if he’s hungry or thirsty by the way he smacks his lips, and he can grunt a certain way to make some of his needs known. Otherwise he expresses desires by going to the thing he wants — heading to the door when he’d like to go outside, or pushing on the piano lid when he feels like playing duets with me.

When Gus was little, his elementary school sent him home with a picture-communication-board-type thing for us to use on a trial basis. If Gus touched a picture of a cookie on the board, for example, the board would say “I’d like a snack.” The machine was about the size of a cafeteria tray and was a bit unwieldy. Once we found out how expensive a machine like this can be — a few go for $8,000 to $10,000 — we decided to stick with Gus’ grunting and lip-smacking methods.

So I was interested to hear about a new application that people with autism and other disabilities are using to communicate — Proloquo2Go is an application you can download from Apple’s iTunes onto an iPhone or iPod Touch. The total cost of the app: $149.99.

A story in USA Today describes how a 7-year-old boy with autism uses the iPhone his mother, Leslie Clark, bought for him at a local store.

A month later, JW goes everywhere with the slick touch-screen mp3 player strapped to his arm. It lets him touch icons that voice basic comments or questions, such as, “I want Grandma’s cookies,” or “I’m angry — here’s why.” He uses his “talker” to communicate with everyone …

Penn State doctoral student Samuel Sennott is a co-developer of the app. In the article, Sennott points out that using an iPhone to talk to friends provides a hip, cool way to communicate — especially important to children with autism, who can find it so difficult to try and fit in with their peers.

Using the iPhone and Touch allows developers to democratize a system that has relied on devices that were too expensive or difficult to customize, Sennott says. “I love people being able to get it at Best Buy,” he says. “That’s just a dream.”


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  1. Offshorededi Says:

    This app is amazing, so many thanks to the developers. I highly recommend Proloquo2Go.

  2. Tutuapp regular Says:

    This iPhone app really helped us alot. Its working great on my iPhone. Hope you develope these type of apps. Thanks.

  3. Tutu App Says:

    Bless the developers for developing such an amazing app. Proloquo2Go is really a good app and highly recommended.

  4. Easter Seals and Autism » Blog Archive » Feeling hip and cool with autism Says:

    […] year I wrote about an iPhone application people with autism and other disabilities were using to communicate. Proloquo2Go was an application […]

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