Sunday, 16 December 2012

Speak for Yourself By Speak for Yourself LLC

  • Category: Education
  • Updated: Dec 11, 2012
  • Version: 1.2
  • Size: 700 MB
Language: English
  • Seller: Speak for Yourself LLC
Rated 4+

Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later


Speak for Yourself is an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app for the ipad.
Please keep in mind I'm a Mom to a non-verbal 6 year old who has Classic Autism.  We have very minimal access to speech and language therapy and I am constantly looking for ways to make my son’s life (and by default, my life) easier.

I will admit when I initially downloaded Speak for Yourself to the iPad I just looked at it and turned off the iPad, it just looked so complicated and daunting. However a quick visit to the Speak for Yourself website completely allayed all fears.  It is a fantastic website, there are tutorial YouTube videos, as well as written instructions; there is information on the developers, a FAQ section and much more.

Starting off from scratch you will need to read the website and/or watch the videos.  But after that it is so easy to get started.
The app is completely customisable, I love, love that it is a lifelong app, there is no need to purchase a child’s AAC for ease of use with the view to moving on to a more grown up one in the future.  This is a life time AAC and hopefully an end to the cumbersome pecs book and the laminator.

Here is our very first screen as my son thinks in his non-verbal head that Mom is telepathic and he need only stand in front of me and transmit his wishes via thought waves and resists anything that requires effort so we are starting from scratch

It is so easy to add our own pictures and I can change the labels and colours on the pictures to suit our everyday vocabulary, as a rule in our house we use one background colour for food items and different colours for each different category.  The 2 yellow pictures are 2 of my sons favourite foods with the name he’d know them by.

The babble function is so cool; it allows the child to experiment at their own pace and it uses the history of the practice sessions to automatically turn on the most used words.

The text function is just incredible. Now it is something that my son won’t be using for a while and something that he may never use but I can really see where it could benefit a user.  Imagine in a stressful situation where you send out a rescue me message or even just for fun.

I also had reservations regarding portability as the app is ipad only and I had originally hoped to start my son using the iPad and then to eventually transfer his AAC to an iPod touch for portability, this is not an option with Speak for Yourself.  However, since the introduction of the iPad mini this is not a worry, we are fortunate to have both the full size iPad and the iPad mini and I have installed Speak for Yourself on both and it works great on both.  The difference in size in the on screen buttons is tiny and the mini is so light and portable I feel they are a great partnership.

In one of the tutorial videos it is recommended that the home button on the iPad be blocked, however with the introduction of IOS6+ there is no need as guided access can render the home button inactive.
I would definitely give this app 5 out of 5.  Now maybe in the next update a male Irish voice ... please.  There are British and US male and female voices and an Irish female voice and speed and pitch can be adjusted to suit as much as possible the child/adult using the app.  I notice on the Facebook page, that the next update will include a word finder, which will be invaluable.

I could stay raving here all day and all week about this app.  It is fantastic. We love, love, love it and genuinely will be making it part of our family.  Thank you Speak for yourself for giving me the opportunity to test and review it.  
Speak for Yourself has kindly provided one code for this amazing app to giveaway for our App Party...Check out the giveaway and enter via this LINK



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