This week, the app of the week is Grace-Picture Exchange for Non-Verbal People. I stumbled upon this one when the developer sent me a tweet asking if I had ever tried it. I had not, but would be interested in trying it out. The developer then gave me a promo code to try out (THANK YOU), as well as a manual (A MANUAL?!?! I’ve never had an app come with a manual before)! I downloaded the app onto my iPad, read the manual (which is a FABULOUS resource),and tried it out.
This app at first glance is rather simplistic. Yet, it’s simplicity that makes it a perfect fit for students that are currently using PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). There is NO audio output. You simply find the picture you are looking for and drag the picture to the bottom of the screen (in PECS we call this the sentence strip).
There are not a lot of pictures in this app, and that is okay. However, you do have the ability to add your own pictures to the app. You also have the ability to move the pictures around the page to re-organize them, or remove unnecessary pictures in the edit menu.
It’s the simplicity of Grace App for Autism that makes it truly unique, and a perfect “transition” app for PECS users to potentially use AAC. It also could be a great alternative for those students who exhibit PICA behaviors, which would save time making all of those PECS pictures from Boardmaker over and over again (I’ve actually had to do this). It would also be a good fit for those students that would benefit from an app without the auditory feedback, as some students may find the auditory feedback (voice output) from an AAC app or device annoying or distracting.
Grace App for Autism is available at the iTunes store for $37.99, and is another useful tool in helping students with Autism and other disabilities have their voices be heard.