Loc: Shelton, CT
My name is Dan. My wife Carey and I are parents to a 4-year-old boy with autism. His name is Evan. He is an adorable kid and keeps us laughing! We also have a 2-year-old daughter, Jessica, who is neurotypical, and also adorable.
Evan is verbal, though his expressive communication is weak. He also has a difficult time processing senses, particularly in new and unfamiliar environments. My wife Carey and I were turned on to picture-based communication aids by the Connecticut "Birth to Three" system. We used magnet boards, laminated/Velcro strips, etc. with Evan, and they worked! Things like picture schedules and social stories really helped to reduce his anxiety and empower him to make transitions from one activity to the next, make choices, etc.
Where Carey and I got frustrated was trying to travel and move around with the tools available. Carrying around big notebooks was an inconvenience. We'd lose the symbols, or we wouldn't have the right one available at the right time. Moreover, it's amazing the attention you get at Burger King when you're showing big strips of pictures to your son!
Anyway, if any of you use picture-based communication tools with the loved ones in your life, you probably know the deal! Effective methodology but not exactly practical.
Our solution was to put a picture-based communications tool on the iPhone and iPod Touch. It's called iPrompts. I won't hog up space on this board proclaiming its benefits, as I don't think that's really fair to everyone (as badly as I might want to do it!). Check out our website if it sounds interesting (we've got screenshots, a video tutorial, and some video testimony from a field trial we ran with parents and professionals). And, of course, I'd be happy to answer questions.
I'm an attorney by day -- but this side endeavor has been a thrill so far! As a parent of a special needs child, I am very sensitive to being exploited and want to respect any rules set forth by the moderators of these boards about advertising. If telling you about our little invention violates the rules of this forum or otherwise makes anyone upset, I would totally understand the need to remove this post. We just use it so regularly with Evan, and have heard such great things from the community, that I thought it might be appropriate to share!
Thanks so much for your time!
www.HandHoldAdaptive.com -- Mobile Technology for the Differently Enabled