I Can Have Conversations With You, an app developed by ASHA certified speech language pathologist Karen Kabaki-Sisto, M.S. CCC-SLP., aims to help verbal children with autism engage in meaningful conversations. It can also be used by children with other speech and language disorders.
The app contains one conversational module, which is basically one conversational scenario. The scenario involves a young girl who is telling her dad about the day she had with her grandpa. As she and her dad take turns speaking, children analyze whether the words they use are correct or incorrect in relation to their conversation. There are 8 speaking turns in all, each taking approximately 30-45 minutes to complete. Additional modules may be purchased after the initial module is completed.
The conversational module is very thorough. It begins with a slide show of photos and videos that show who, what, where, when, and why the conversation takes place. Each conversational partner’s speaking turn includes several examples of correct and incorrect words.
Children also get to role-play as the conversational partner and record themselves as they speak. There are also plenty of audio-visual reinforcements that will delight children as they progress through the module. At the end, parents can access a results page that includes a progress report and recommendations for other skill appropriate modules.
I used this app with my ten year old son who has autism. He loved the photos and videos. He listened to the audio prompts and understood them easily. He was excited by the audio-visual rewards and looked forward to seeing what would come up next. Unfortunately, his interest in the app dropped after about just a minute of use, and I believe it was because he was seeing the same photo at every screen and was being asked essentially the same question over and over again. Repetition is a great tool in therapy, but I don’t believe it translates as well in an app that is designed for a child’s independent use. One thing that would have been helpful for my son, since he is able to read much quicker than listening to the audio prompts, is to have the option of disabling the audio and timed responses so that he could move through the app at his own pace. Also, I would like to have the option for the parent to allow the child to skip to the role play section, and to return to the lesson as necessary.
The child lock also needs some debugging. The child lock requires parents to enter the missing letters in a sentence. The first problem is that when the missing letter is at the end of a word, you cannot enter it in. The second is that you can only use lower case letters even if it is a proper name and normally would be capitalized. Otherwise, this is one of the best child lock methods I have seen in an app.
Overall, I think I Can Have Conversations With You is a very helpful and useful. While it did not work as well for my son as I had hoped, it may be exactly what another child loves and needs. After all, every child is different and I do think this app is an excellent tool to have. I would suggest having a free version of this app so that parents can check it out before making a purchase. I am still going to use this for my son even if he uses it only for a few seconds each day because I believe it will help him become a better communicator.
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“I Can Have Conversations With You!™” is further discounted to $19.99 (originally $39.99) this Memorial Day Weekend.
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.