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Top 10 Things About the “Speak for Yourself” App

I recently found a great new AAC app called “Speak for Yourself”, and I’m loving it! I thought I would share the top ten reasons it is such a great AAC app.

  1. To say ANY word in speak for yourself you have to press a maximum of two buttons. In a fast paced world it is important for AAC users to be able to keep up with communication. This is done by being able to say what they want with a device as quickly and succinctly as possible. When you only have to press up to two buttons to get a word you are going to be able to save a lot of time.
  2. There is a search feature. When numerous people are usually involved in programming a device it seems that even when people try to stay on the same page it is hard for everyone to know what has been programmed in the device and where it is located. It is also hard for everyone to learn the device to effectively model it. With a search for vocabulary feature anyone can see where a word is located. If the word isn’t on the device yet it can be added and then will show up in the search feature if someone else looks for the same word. No more having the same word five different places and trying to remember where it is located!
  3. Words can be opened and closed. This app has the easiest way I have ever seen to open and close words so that you can have a way to systematically teach vocabulary and language skills. You can start with a blank slate and add words as needed as quickly or as slowly as you need to.
  4. There is a babble feature. While it’s great to be able to control what words are open when teaching language, it is also great to have access to all the language we hear. The babble feature allows you to toggle back and forth between a screen with systematically opened vocabulary to a screen with all the vocabulary available so your child can practice babbling with the device just as they would with verbal language.
  5. There is a history feature. The history feature allows you to see how the device has been used. It can help you track what words and phrases have been used and how often. It’s a great way to gain data to see how language has developed and see how the device is being used.
  6. It has a hold that thought button. A great way to increase the ease of communication is to store frequently used phrases in the hold that thought button. It is easy to create phrases to store and easy to retrieve them.
  7. It is easy to edit. Even for the non-techy person it is easy to add and modify buttons. Just press the edit button and the button you want to edit and enter the information you would like.
  8. You can lock editing. For all those kids who like to edit their own programs, you can easily lock editing from inside the program. In order to unlock editing you must go out of the app and into the Ipad settings. This will make sure that buttons are not “accidentally” edited by little hands.
  9. It provides a great base of core vocabulary with plenty of room to grow. The main page has core vocabulary words that make up the majority of what we need to say. Most of the core words link to a secondary page where there are more fringe words related to the core word. The app is built on motor planning principles so that once you learn where a word is you will be able to quickly retrieve it through motor memory. There is also a keyboard built in for you to be able to say any fringe words that you don’t say enough to have the button programmed into the device. This app can truly grow with a child from their first word to conversational language.
  10. The developers are speech pathologists. It’s great to see an AAC app developed by someone who has an understanding of speech and language development as well as motor planning skills. They are also very available to answer questions and helpful in providing ideas in how to utilize the app for functional communication in all environments. A couple bonus perks also include a key guard available to help anyone who has trouble with finger isolation access the small buttons, availability on both android and apple tablets, and an active Facebook group full of parents and professionals who are a wealth of information about use of the app.

As with any AAC device speak for yourself may not work for everyone and should be trialed to see if it would be the best fit for your child. Once it is determined the best fit, the child will need to be trained on how to utilize the app through modeling and expansion of language. Feel free to contact us if you would like to trial speak for yourself to see if it would work for your needs.