LARUE -- Apple iPads and iPods are doing the talking in Elgin West Elementary School multi-handicapped classrooms.
The school used a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation to buy three iPads and an iPod. A second grant will let them purchase more.
Students who struggle with communicating verbally can use the equipment and a program called Proloquo2go to talk for them. They hit icons applicable to their surroundings that let them ask questions, such as if they can go to the bathroom or if they can get something to eat.
Intervention specialist Gretchen Tighe said she saw the usefulness of the devices while working with Coll McGowan, an autistic student. She was making cupcakes when he walked up to her, trying to communicate but unable to vocalize what he wanted.
"He said, 'I want cake, please,' with the device," Tighe said. "I handed him it and he was able to say, 'I want cake, please.'"
He can also use the device to tell her his name, favorite color, age and favorite television show.
Denise Converse-McGowan, Coll's mom, said she also has used an iPad at home.
"Instead of getting frustrated, he runs to this," she said.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
iPads, iPods aid communication in Elgin special-needs classes | The Marion Star | marionstar.com
Posted by Contact at 8:29 AM