From: Judy, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 20 Oct 2014

"I will tell you a little about my kids.  I have 2 boys - both with autism.  Alexander is almost 7 yrs old and is more impacted (more sensory issues, gross motor and fine motor delay).  Anderson is almost 4.5 years old.  Both boys have speech delays.  Alex is speaking more in 3-5 word phrases and Andy is starting to say more and more words.  

I decided to purchase Avaz earlier this year (I think) b/c I wanted Alex to be able to tell me what he was thinking or feeling if he couldn't say it.  We discovered that Alex taught himself how to read a few years ago.  Alex's speech therapist, Cara, recently said that getting the Avaz app was the best thing I ever did for Alex.  It is easier for Alex to speak when he can read the words.  He is also teaching himself words (so is Andy).  I haven't concentrated as much on it with Andy but I think he learned the word "burger" from Avaz!  hahaha!

I will send  you videos of Cara using it with the boys so you can see her technique.  Alex's ABA therapists use it more as a visual prompt - without the sound.  I think Cara even said she likes it more than Proloquo.

These days Alex has become very good at typing out words and he likes typing things out.  I always wonder what Alex is thinking b/c he doesn't always initiate speech.  Once with Cara he said something and she couldn't understand what he was saying so she told Alex to type it out.  He started typing, "an", then you could tell he was thinking.  He wasn't sure how to spell it - so then he typed out "zoo" b/c he knew the associated buttons would come out and he would see animal.  Then he typed out "animal cr", and then Cara knew!  Animal crackers!  Cara and Zoila (babysitter) were raving about what a smart thing he did and Alex was beaming.  So cute.

Last week Alex and Cara were looking at some surfing pictures (I took the boys to a surf day with therasurf).  Cara had asked Alex, "Who did you go surfing with?".  Alex typed out - "I went surfing with Jim".  Cara later asked me who Jim was.  I was surprised since the surfing was 2 weeks ago and I didn't know if he would remember - but Jim was the surfer that took Alex out on his surf board :)
There is so much he knows and I hope one day the Avaz will help Alex with testing.

Yesterday Alex was at home and when I walked by I saw that he had typed "interestingly".  I think he likes looking at all the words and then he remembers them and types it in.

I didn't know for a long time that I could record my own voice which fixes the problem of different pronunciations. Another thing that I have Alex do is learn his classmates or teammates names by putting them in Avaz."

- the above has been published with the permission of Judy Cheng.