SpeakAll! is an iPad therapy app that is specifically designed for children and adults who have little to no functional speech skills, especially in the area of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The app allows them to acquire initial symbol vocabulary and learn the process of constructing simple sentences. It can be customized to each child or individual learner’s specific needs by allowing the instructor or caretaker to use recorded audio of their own voice as well as custom images from your iPad library. The app uses these photos and graphic symbols to represent what the child wants to say and helps them construct sentences accordingly.
Developed at Purdue University, this app is now being adopted for use at speech and language clinics at San Jose State University in California and the University of Central Florida in Orlando. “The SpeakAll! app is a major technological advancement in the available AAC tool kit for use with children with autism,” says Chad Nye, executive director of the University of Central Florida Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, “the system is easy to understand, learn, adapt, and deliver and should be in the professional tool kit of anyone working in the field of autism or other language interventions. The transparency of the actions make the stimulus and response items a practical application that can be individualized for each child.”
Clinicians are impressed by the apps clean layout of the app, especially since they have been looking for ways to figure out the issue of sensory overload with dynamic displays that are hard to work with. To much sensory information can create stress and anxiety for an autistic person struggling with speech development and further hinder their learning process. Communication is one of the biggest issues that children and families with autism face because they don’t have enough verbal speech to meet their day-to-day communicating needs.
A free version of the SpeakAll! app provides usage of up to 20 graphic symbols, two activity sheets, and one learner’s profile. The premium versions of the app include access to four different synthetic voices, data tracking and managements, unlimited symbols, unlimited activity sheets, and unlimited learner profiles.
Shema Kolainu takes full advantage of apps that can be used for speech therapy, especially ones that use clean visuals and auditory cues to help facilitate language production. In fact, one of our very own non-verbal students said his first words and first simple sentence, “want iPad,” just this past month. Integrating these newfound technologies into our therapy practices are an important part of creating a strong foundation for the children and students we work with. Innovations and advancements in technology will be covered in depth on Day 3 of our 2014 ICare4Autism International Conference.
Get more conference info & tickets here
Get more info on SpeakAll! here