To honor World Down Syndrome Day BridgingApps is sharing the success story of Cole and some app lists we have compiled for individual’s with Down Syndrome.
Cole’s Success Story
When our speech therapist, Betsy Furler, began working with Cole two years ago, he was almost entirely nonverbal. He used few word approximations occasionally, but he was unable to express his wants and needs. His parents were interested in him learning to use an augmentative communication app and the iPad. Cole already owned an iPad and he was very proficient using it for games and to watch videos. Betsy did an AAC evaluation with Cole and determined he was an excellent candidate for using the AAC app, Proloquo2Go and an iPad for communication.
Cole was born with Down syndrome and was diagnosed with autism shortly after he started working with Betsy. Cole was not successful at his preschool, so his parents had pulled him out and homeschooled him for awhile. They enrolled him in an Applied Behavior Analysis program. Meanwhile, Cole was working hard in speech therapy to use the iPad for communication and purposes other than games and videos. At first, Cole had difficulty engaging. He often sat in the corner, under a bean bag chair, trying to hide. Betsy continued to show him the iPad and apps and he slowly became engaged and a willing participant in therapy. Looking back now, it is hard to believe he was ever disengaged!
Cole is now a friendly and engaged eight-year-old boy. He is no longer nonverbal. There is research that states that a child will attempt more verbal communication when also given an alternative method of communication. Cole’s alternative method of communication is Proloquo2Go on the iPad. He still uses his iPad for communication, but he also uses his own voice! Cole now comments, greets and uses yes/no to communicate verbally. He also will repeat phrases. Cole’s speech and language skills are growing daily. The iPad opened up his understanding of the power of communication and now he is able to communicate with both is iPad and his voice.
Cole has also made tremendous progress with his ABA program. He has quickly mastered goals and demonstrated compliance. Because of his progress, he has also started using the iPad for academic tasks. Using apps such as Todo Math, Elmo Loves ABCs for iPad and Shape Monster, Cole now has the attention to task and show us that he knows all his numbers, letters and letter sounds. He uses his iPad to label shapes correctly and can do early addition.
Cole has made tremendous progress over the last two years. The iPad and apps have truly been life changing for Cole!
BridgingApps has compiled some of our favorite apps for people with Down Syndrome.
Young Children with Down Syndrome List
Middle & High School with Down Syndrome List
Transition & Independence Down Syndrome
Also, Check out the World Down Syndrome Day 2016 video by Down Syndrome International to help spread awareness. #MyFriendsMyCommunity #WDSD16