This is wishing all readers a wonderful 2011. After a hectic holiday in Kerala in Dec -2010, 2011 seemed to have started on a good note. To start with Ramam has an ayurvedic dosage regimen in place. I decided to go to Kotatakal arya vaidyashala after reading Krishnan Narayanan’s Autistic musings. This is his second innings with ayurveda. The good thing about kotakkal is that they have an extensive distribution system so I can probably buy their medicines at their Jayanagar branch in Bangalore. I understand they have something big in Delhi too.
The second exciting thing at the moment is proloquo 2 go which as their ad goes is AAC (augmentative alternative communication) in your pocket. Developed by professionals it is a complete package. Of course, my husband gets all the credit for the research he has done online. As I write this post I am trying to make a brave attempt to analyze the apps available as I am not a very tech savvy person. We also looked at other tools as Grace Picture exchange for non verbals. There are of course n number of applications for ipad/ i-pod touch/i-pod phone available in the market. But the distinct advantage of this tools is that it is offers a complete package. It is very effective in developing sentence building skills. You can edit the way you want with your photos, personalize it your heart’s content. You have a key board to type also. You can work on conversation starters, building a conversation. Editing is child’s play and they have a huge symbols and pictures library to choose from. It speaks out whatever is being typed, like so many other augmentative tools but here you have a choice of speaker (female/male), speed of narration, so many features built in, it works beautifully on the i-pod. We have chosen the voice of Heather and it is quite pleasant on the ears. Some of the apps like uTYpe I Talk the voice sounds very mechanical. Most of the tools that have been developed by parents (hats off to them! They have the time and energy for this kind of a thing) is that these tools are used more often than not for purpose of demanding something. As probably parents we don’t think more than the child wanting to go to burger King/Mc Donald’s!!!!!
Why proloquo2 go. Yes, Ramam is definitely vocalizing better, but the question is how much he can vocalize when he is stressed. One of the reviews we read for Proloquo was by Jamie Knight an autistic web developer. He states the device has empowered him. As a person who has used various tools at various points of time he speaks highly of Proloqou. He could not speak in college for 4 years as he was stressed out. As for the sign language it is a harsh reality that it is not universal and nobody understands it. This is more socially acceptable, maybe even more fashionable to own an i-pod. According to research all these tools also eventually help the child vocalize better
Now for the downside, it is expensive at $189 and also the initial investment for an i-pod. And yes the task of getting Ramam to use the tool. As they say no pain, no gain . But the flip side of it is that it is easy, once you get a hang of it becomes a matter of habit. If rama can tell me some day it is awesome /cool (comments feature) I did be on top of the world. Here is another blog where the mother has reviewed other apps
Lets hope this be a wonderful year for all our children and that they learn something that shall help them lead their lives.