We use the ProxTalker in our self-contained classroom for a 9 year old boy with limited communication. The ProxTalker is simple enough for him to use and manipulate easily. He uses the device independently and it has helped improve his vocalizations in conversational language. The device is easy to use and has helped our student express his wants and needs tremendously.
Danielle K. and Danielle G.
From: Brooklyn, NY
Our 13 year old had become bored with PECS and virtually given up using it, relying on the fact that we could interpret his every need. From the first moment he set eyes on the ProxTalker he understood how to use it. I had "helpfully" recorded "a drink of Ribena" over the drink tab as Ribena has long been the only thing he liked. This time however, he gave me a filthy look, threw the drink tab, slapped down the milk tab and pressed it HARD. Obviously his tastes have changed but he had been unable to let us know that, actually, he would prefer a glass of milk sometimes. How's that for communication!
I first came across the talker at the Education Show in Manchester. I was bowled over by the thought that it may give my son Callum a voice in his non verbal world. The ProxTalker is helping him to start making the choices that any other child of his age would be making. The support that we have received at home and in his nursery setting has been invaluable. It is great knowing that the ProxTalker will grow with Callum as he starts to understand more and undoubtedly wants to boss us about more!
Parent of Callum (aged 3)
We had a loan of a ProxTalker for a year 8 pupil, who was using PECS at phase 6 but still had no appropriate vocalisations, which limited his interactions with those who didn't know him. On the first trial he recognised it could be used as a PECS book and was independent straight away. Unlike other communication aids he didn't repeatedly press buttons. The ProxTalker allowed him to 'nag' us staff remorselessly, in a way that was obviously funny to him and led to great social eye-contact which we had not had in those situations before. Hopefully funding can be found to secure a ProxTalker for future use.
Harriet has tried many communication aids over the years, and has found many of them too difficult. We tried a MegaBee at an exhibition and she was fantastic with it straight away. Harriet has always struggled with literacy, and with using the MegaBee she has learnt to spell very quickly. Harriet uses one Magabee to learn spellings (overall goal for her to spell exactly what she wants) and the other Magabee with set sentences on to say what she wants, how she feels etc. It has made a huge difference to Harriet, communicating her needs and also to her literacy skills. Fantastic!!!!!
From: Wells, Somerset
We have been using ProxTalkers since June 09 and have been delighted by the students' responses. In group work they have developed sentence structure, waiting, turn taking and social skills in addition to improved behaviour and the ability to use 'yes' 'no' with accuracy in an acceptable manner.
Other students have been able to learn to place and activate to request, even at a one word level.
Having used PEC's for a number of years this had become unmotivating for Alex. As a 10 year old boy Alex was inspired on first contact with the ProxTalker, and immediately began using the device in order to request the things that he wanted. It was fantastic that Alex was so motivated by the machine that he would go and get it in order to make a request. After trialling this at school for two weeks, he then took it home for a trial and he is awaitng on a response for funding.
Logan is 12 yrs old and has autism. He is in a residential school which he loves but it is 200 miles from his home in Conneticut, USA. Logan is a great user of PECS, but he is non verbal.
His dad designed the ProxTalker so he could communicate verbally and with people who did not understand his PECS books. The first time Logan tried his ProxTalker, it took him less than a minute to ask for one of his favourite toys, a letter puzzle.
He has lots of different pictures and symbols on his ProxTalker and he even has some sound tags with just words. His sister, mum, dad, teachers and carers all record sounds and he is happy using all voices to ‘talk’.
Now he can order his own meal when he goes out and can ‘talk’ to his mom and dad when they phone him at school.
From: Waterbury, CT
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