A long time ago someone suggested a communication device for Jacob, called Go Talk. It was a simple tool, easy to carry around, had limited space but was a good start.
He used it a little but not a lot. I didn’t try to go back to find our pages of photos that went in the 9 squares.
Fast forward to late 2017, we heard of an updated version called Go Talk Now. It was software to be used on a device and offered almost endless possibilities. We decided to give it a try and set up the Home Page on an iPad dedicated to his use.
Jacob was very curious about it. Mainly because he could push a button and get a response. We customized it to suit his needs. (It also has a keyboard that could be added if he were interested in spelling out words.) For now, these are some of the pages on it. When he presses Can I have something to drink? on the Home Page, it goes to this screen.
Each button has a male voice saying either the words on that button or the name of the item.
So when he presses I’m hungry, it goes to this screen with four options:
Each button pressed, either takes him to another screen, or responds with the appropriate command.
‘I feel’ gives him these options:
Has he used the program appropriately? YES!! Does he use it daily for communication? No. Sometimes, he brings it to us and sometimes, he puts it away:
These are some of the other pages:
Does it bring him a great amount of pleasure? YES, indeed!
He will go to one of his favorite ‘pages’ and pick something to listen to while he’s eating. Such as Down on the Corner located on the Dance Songs page.
Shortly after we started using one at home, his Day Program purchased one for his use there. Again, not used all the time but is available for teaching and fun when he wants.
This is a really great one. The Friends button has photos of sitters and friends from church. He doesn’t get to see them often, but he can tap on their photo.
One of his favorites is the Family button on the Jacob’s Favorites page. Unfortunately, I haven’t taken advantage each time family members were in our home to have everyone on it, but there are some. It has a voice over, saying their names when he pushes their picture. Some then recorded something special for him—such as one of our granddaughters, simply said, “we love you Jacob!”
But the one he likes the most is what he hears when he presses this button:
Before it finishes saying Granny and Granddaddy, he pushes it a second time to hear Granny singing:
He thinks it’s the best song ever. I think he is right.
As you can see, Go Talk Now is a wonderful tool for him and a blessing that he enjoys it so very much.