What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Proloquo2Go is an extraordinary communication aid for kids who need talking assistance. The award-winning, multi-user app is set up in a customizable grid that uses colorful icons placed in "buttons." These buttons represent words that kids can tap to say individually or to form complete sentences. This app can be used for a wide range of speech, from very basic communication (a 3x3 grid for the most basic requests, such as food) to creating fluid sentences and conversations (up to an 8x8 grid, providing 64 up-front words, with many more options within categories). Users can also add their own photos and images to create icons, edit existing buttons, move them, or search by keyword.
While there are a number of apps that fall into the category of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tools, Proloquo2Go is unique in many ways. The app can increase or decrease the complexity of words and phrases presented based on a kid's current age and vocabulary. Also, the downloadable voices include those of children (British or American, boy or girl). As a result, kids using the app can be represented with more natural voice tones. Kids who can type can also use this app for text-to-speech, with many customizable settings on this feature as well.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- letter or word recognition
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
- personal growth
- labeling feelings
- conveying messages effectively
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
Once the app is set up, it's highly engaging and fun. An adult will first need to establish the appropriate vocabulary level, customize the app to meet a kid's current needs, and show the child the basics of interacting with the interface.
Proloquo2Go readily adapts to a kid's current needs once it's customized. Kids are then empowered to learn word recognition, vocabulary, labeling feelings, and speaking skills.
Extensive in-app help section, plus a downloadable user's guide, webinars on the developer's website, Facebook- and Twitter-based social support, and more.
What's it about?
Create a username, then choose a main category: Core Word (for kids who are able to combine words and make sentences); Basic Communication (single-word communication); or Blank Vocabulary (all customized). The Home grid appears with basic words and images in boxes in a 6x6 grid, which can be altered to suit your kid's needs. Kids tap on the desired boxes with images (called "buttons"), and they appear above the grid where the words are spoken consecutively. PROLOQUO2GO contains extensive customizations and many helpful tutorials.
Is it any good?
Kids who can't speak or have limited speech but who gravitate toward technology will likely be able to use Proloquo2Go adeptly. With a tap, a swipe, and a tap, kids can drill down into the app to find just the right buttons that represent what they want to say. Words are organized in grids by most frequently or recently used, sets of things, general parts of speech (pronouns, verbs, nouns), and "little" words, which help make sentences more fluid, conversational, and even polite ("I want to go play baseball, please."). For parents or teachers who wonder if they can customize an app with such an enormous vocabulary base (14,000 symbols), Proloquo2Go offers an extensive user guide, FAQs, webinars, and more that make the experience easy and even fun. Even for kids who can't read, the symbols used along with the words are so highly customizable that they can use it to express themselves without knowing words. As long as a kid is able to navigate the device's screen and understands how symbols can represent words, including verbs and pronouns, they most likely will be able to use this tool to speak not only to ask for what they want or express how they feel, but also to speak in complete sentences and participate in the flow of everyday communication.
The $219.99 price tag is definitely higher than similar apps; however, there are no added costs (voice downloads included) and all of the webinars and online instruction are included. The extensive available support for parents who are setting up and optimizing the use of Proloquo2Go for kids is impressive. Proloquo2Go can help speech-challenged kids increase communication and decrease frustration, and it empowers parents to customize this powerful tool in ways that best suits their kid's current age and stage of development.
Families can talk about...
Watch the webinars that explain the many and detailed customizations before introducing the app to your kid.
Help your kid identify and take photos of anything that he or she would like include on the app as a button.