One of the things that excites me when I think about BC’s future is the part technology will be able to play. It excites me that with so many developments taking place RIGHT NOW, in the future there will be more and more great products and innovations that will make life easier for my lovely boy.
Most recently, I have been thrilled to learn about a new AAC (Augmentative and alternative communication) application available on the iPhone. It’s called Proloquo2Go. Thanks to Gina from InkyEd for telling me about it!
At the moment, BC has a ‘Dynovox Minimo’ that looks like this:
It’s big. It’s heavy. It’s clunky. And it’s not particularly reliable. We have had several programming and other errors with it and to be honest, we just don’t use it that much.
It’s true that it’s an outdated model, and the newer Dynovox devices are lighter, more reliable and more technologically advanced. BUT they also have price tags to match. Around AUD $7,000 last time I looked. Hhhmm.
So naturally, I have been very excited about THIS new iPhone application. I LOVE the idea that in the future, BC wouldn’t need to carry around an additional device. I love the thought that if he’s having trouble conveying something to someone, he could simply pull his phone out of his pocket and quickly and easily say what he wants to say.
The application is NOT perfect. For a start, BC has no way near the fine motor control to accurately press the right icon on such a small screen. A keyguard (as yet undeveloped, but hopefully to come in the future) would definitely help resolve this problem.
I also would worry about him dropping and damaging the phone itself. So a bodyguard of some sort would also be great (or even better, a durable ‘outdoor’ iPhone model?).
Also, I look forward to a bigger range of ‘voices’ on offer.
So it’s not perfect for us, just now. BUT Proloquo2Go costs less than US $200 and a 32GB iPhone would set us back around AUD$1,000 – so all up, considerably cheaper than a Dynovox!
For now, we have downloaded Proloquo2Go on to BC’s dad’s iPhone. And we are enjoying playing with it. We’ve already made new sets using photos of all the members of our household and close family and friends. We’ve altered some of the other entries because they are particularly US focused (ie ketchup, jello, baseball shoes and ginger beer). The editing process is very user friendly. We’ll continue playing with it, adding and adjusting and letting BC feel his way around it.
When BC’s dad’s phone contract expires, and he upgrades to a NEW iPhone, maybe this one will become BC’s. I hope so.
The potential is there. I am so excited about what gifts future technology will bring!
In case you’re curious, but have no idea what I am talking about, check out this video from the Proloquo2Go website: