My path to working from home – Part 1: Beta testing Proloquo2Go

Prior to working from home, I began constructing the groundwork a while ago. And I didn’t even know it at the time. Back in the winter of 2008, I got involved in testing Proloquo2Go (an augmentative communication app for iOS devices) before the app’s release. I became a beta tester along with one of my students who has augmentative communication needs.  Once my student started using Proloquo2Go on an iPod Touch, I began to think about how an app could completely change not only my student’s life, but also my life as a speech-language pathologist. I soon realized that I could use iOS apps to facilitate communication for my students.

When testing Proloquo2Go with my student, I saw that it was a very sophisticated, yet easy-to-use solution via a mobile device. It had a lot of features while the interface was very user friendly. Additionally, the mobility factor was very important for this particular student because he walks and needs to communicate wherever he goes. The AAC device he had at the time was bulky and thus limiting communication to a tabletop. Proloquo2Go with an iPod touch, on the other hand, could go with him anywhere, whether the device was in his pocket or attached to a lanyard around his neck.

I recall one day I wanted my student to use Proloquo2Go at recess with general education peers. I took him to the playground and he wanted to play soccer. Since he had an iPod touch with a protective case, I figured why not. If it would allow him to interact with students beyond his special education classroom, I was all for it.

During the soccer game, my student ran after the ball as his iPod touch with Proloquo2Go was attached to his neck with a lanyard. The general education students approached him with great interest. They wanted to know how it was possible to use the cool device to communicate. With some assistance from me, my student was able to show them by asking questions and making comments. The students were very patient in waiting for him to communicate. I was highly impressed to see the conversational exchange between them. Plus, it was amusing to see how many of the students became more interested in my student and his “talker” than in playing soccer. It was something I had never seen before and it gave me chills that ran up my spine.

This experience with Proloquo2Go was the catalyst for further exploration of apps to use with my students.  My life was about to take an exciting turn as I entered a new chapter in my career.

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2 thoughts on “My path to working from home – Part 1: Beta testing Proloquo2Go

  1. I am so excited by the recent explosion of possibilities in the world of augmentative communication on mobile devices! iOS apps (and I hope Android someday, too) are opening new worlds for those with communication challenges! Thanks for sharing your story about those first exciting moments seeing Proloquo2Go in action!

  2. Since using an IPAD with all my 3 and under clients I have seen a world of the future open up for so many children. They take to technology like they were born with the knowledge. Parents who believed their children didn’t have colors, letters, numbers, shapes are amazed to see the high level that these children actually can work at! The children are free to enjoy themselves without knowing they are really doing speech work. We still take out some board games, etc occasionally but I constantly add new apps so it is never boring. And as the children’s skills improve they can engage with new apps. I can’t wait for more speech therapy apps to come out that actually give more options. I use some of the articulation programs and really like having instant data to put in the files. I do notice however, that not all speech therapy apps are worth the money charged. I have spent some good money on a few that I was disappointed with and sorry I spent the money. I am sure that more speech therapy applications are in the works and will be ramping up for us eager speech language pathologists!

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