Before we could use the iPad as a Voice Output Device (VOD), communication devices could cost thousands of dollars. They were big, clunky and sometimes hard to program. The iPad has changed all of that for the better! Likewise the first apps for communication that made use of the Core Vocabulary concept were really quite expensive, but now there are even more affordable options. I’m highlighting that option here.
Take a look!
The key to teaching functional communication to a child rests on the ability of the adults in the child’s life to first teach the power of communication. An electronic device like the iPad sometimes is used too soon. The biggest indicator that a child is not ready for a high tech device is when he/she treats the device as a toy. When I see kids pushing buttons randomly to try for that cause and effect feedback, I know right away that the child hasn’t learned about the power of communication. I often try a low -tech approach like PECS first or I’ll limit the pictures or icons on the high tech device in an attempt to help the student make the connection that when they hand a picture over or touch a picture on a device, they get what they want. Bam! Power over the environment! Power to get what they want!
The mistake I see happen all too often is that once communication is started, the expansion of that foundation stays stagnant. That is where these lovely VODs come into play. The core vocabulary concept on the apps help students and adults build vocabulary and enrich their communication skills.
I try to encourage staff to set goals to increase not only the number of vocabulary words but to increase the complexity of the expressions using pronouns, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions and adverbs.
Try using Avaz and see what your students can do!
I have an adult family member who recently had a stroke. Although he can speak, he still has a great deal of difficulty with word finding abilities. The picture icons, word prediction and the pre-programmed common phrases will serve him and his family well. I have recommended that the family purchase this app.
I hope this will help someone you know! Let me know what you think!
You take care and I’ll see you next time!