I Can Have Conversations With You! by Autism Breakthrough Solutions, LLC.
What encompasses a conversation? Is it eye contact? Does it include gestures such as waving or shaking hands? Could it be that it includes understanding who and what you are discussing? These are some of the many aspects that Karen Kabaki-Sisto, M.S., CCC-SLP, the developer, and mastermind, behind the app I Can Have Conversation With You! has put into practice over her 20 years of working with those on the Autism Spectrum.
There are currently three apps in the suite of I Can Have Conversations With You!
- A FREE version, I CAN for Autism which allows you to preview and decide if the app is right for your child or student
- The full version of Conversations!
- A second version named Conversation 2 which is designed for learners with limited language abilities
NOTE: The apps are not meant to use for multiple students rather it is used for one individual at a time. The developer intends them for at-home use independently by the user with parent/teacher/therapist assistance only at strategic points.
View a demo here:
Based on applied behavior research strategies such as repetition, rewards, video modeling, and prompting this app strategically and systematically goes through a conversation. To finish a complete conversational learning session, you will need plenty of time (at least 4-6 hours) to go through the entire full version app!
Some skills the user will master are:
- Identifying correct language indicated in speech bubbles for the specific conversation being address
- Becoming familiar with multiple ways to relay the same information
- Visualizing the conversation between communicators
- Sharing the correct information with a communicator (ie: what did you do at Grandpa’s house)
- Becoming familiar with the nuances of conversation concepts before and after the conversation takes place
- Self-monitoring during the recording phase
One of my favorite features is the role-play feature that allows the user to actually record his or her voice after spending time within the app to cement understanding of a conversation. In this section, an adult/parent/educator/therapist needs to assist the user. The user will be prompted to seek out the help of an adult. The adult will access the roleplay section and help the user to record and listen to their conversational piece. It’s here where the magic happens and a kiddo makes the connection listening to their own words! It’s the perfect self-monitoring activity for conversation. I love that the app allows for the user to listen and re-record if necessary. This is errorless learning at its best. Technology has allowed for a “safe place” of opportunistic learning and it is a favorite of the Autism Spectrum population!
What I like about I Can Have Conversations Apps:
- Research applied techniques from an experienced SLP and ABA professional
- Clean, clear and crisp narration and video clips
- Systematically set up for success with many repetitions that may be needed for those with Autism
- Simple rewards (sticker type images that appear) that keep distractions to a minimum, stay with giving immediate feedback and the intrinsically motivated concept, although it might be a nice addition to add an option for a more robust reward
- The option to choose the Conversations 2 for those will limited language abilities
Suggestions for future updates:
- A setting option to turn on/off the sound for the rewards (some kiddos may have sensitivity toward some of the sounds)
- Multiple user options
- A setting option to remove the introduction and instructions at the beginning of the app at each use (play once only or keep on) – presently there is an icon to skip through it
Visit the I Can Have Conversations website for a wealth of additional information.