I will start this blog post off by saying upfront I am not a speech therapist and I don’t pretend to be. I will also say that I like to make sure that I am well rounded and try to keep my eye open for new apps and that includes AAC apps.
A new app on the market is So Much 2 Say. It is developed by a company Close 2 Home Apps, LLC. A little background of why this product was designed. It was designed for the owners two children who are on the spectrum. She was told “Your child doesn’t have the prerequisites for a communication device.” It was a devastating blow to hear those words. So this mom was on a mission to figure something out. With her boyfriend by her side the concept was conceived and shortly after their marriage, they gave birth to So Much 2 Say.
The app is for emergent language communicators. These are the individuals that are learning that these pictures actually mean something. They need smaller fields, they often need real photos vs drawings (not all some do better with the reverse) and are not ready for categories.
So Much 2 Say offers early beginning AAC users a platform. There are other apps in iTunes that do this but So Much 2 Say, makes it simple on the fly communication or even being used for language based activities. For example, I was working in a classroom observing a student on the spectrum and the teacher was doing music with her class. She had songs that they sang everyday and students had to pick the song that they would sing. My student was sitting in the circle and not really engaging. The student wouldn’t even make a choice of the song to sing. I asked the teacher if I could take a picture of the cards she had made for each song. I quickly made a song board with 4 choices and I included like button and a dislike button. So when the teacher was ready to ask the student for her choice, the student touched B-I-N-G-O and the teacher started to sing. But then the student kept touching Dislike. So I signaled to the teacher to stop singing. The student again touched B-I-N-G-O but this time the aide sang the song and the student touched like. We repeated this activity a few times to see if it was the teacher singing the student didn't like.
With the app you have two choices of setting up the boards categories or cards. Depending on your students' abilities or your plan of use, you select which way to set it up. I typically set mine up with categories. I like to model for the students how to get to something even if they are not expected to do it at first. My categories are: Games – Songs – Stories – Sharing. Now if a student cannot manage the field I have created the app allows me to change from a field of 1 – 2- 4-6 depending on the individual student's needs. I love the fact that I can on the fly and cards or folders can be hidden and returned to screen.
The app uses real voice not digital voice. So for each thing you add if you want a voice added to it, you need to record the sound. There are pros and cons to this. Using recorded voice, a person's voice is the voice of another. A child often has an adult voice. Sometimes a male has a female voice. These are just things we need to be conscientious about that we make sure our students with
Company Website: https://close2homeapps.com/?q=our_apps
Can customize with own photos or symbols.
Layouts are simple to modify.
The screen layout is clean and simple – great for students' visual impairments.
- My wish list:
- Some way to hide the edit button. I have a love hate with the edit button. It makes things super easy for me to edit but it also makes it super easy for little fingers to take there.
- A better library. Pictures or icons that to get the person started.
- A way to change the background color. Unless I am missing something I have only been able to see the purple. A more neutral color would be black.
- Digital voice
- Ability to change the background color
- Switch access
- Data (selection, speed)
If there is a something you would like to see added to an APP, take the time to talk to the developer of the APP. They are very often open to suggestions and feedback. If your suggestion works into their vision for their app, you very well may see it added. And you might suggest something that wasn’t in their plan but it would be a great addition. Talk to the app developers.
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