Avaz is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) application designed to help children dealing with the challenges of autism spectrum disorders communicate verbally more easily. The app empowers users with verbal communication through the selection of different pictured tiles representing actions, descriptions, and other useful questions and statements. Users may also type custom words and sentences through use of the app’s keyboard and text-to-voice functions. To start, vocabulary lists come in four “difficulties.” Users may select their words from “quick,” “getting started,” “basic,” or “advanced.” By stringing a number of pictures and custom words together, users can construct sentences which the app will read aloud on demand. This app uses a combination of images and text, is very intuitive, easy to navigate, and comes packed with useful vocabulary sets, making it suitable for use with children ages 4 and up.
Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.
Becoming accustomed to communication via alternative methods like AAC apps takes some getting used to, but thankfully Avaz comes with enough customization and options to make the transition more easy to adapt to. Avaz is an extremely versatile app containing a large vocabulary; however, the exact words and phrasing users have in mind may not always be immediately available. Users must be flexible in their approach and word selection, as there are often more than one way to express the same statement, and some words will be more effective than others. In instances where the exact phrasing is unavailable, it may become necessary to adjust a question or statement using the keyboard function in order to create more direct, specific requests. Exercising Flexibility in this way can help improve vocabulary and versatility in communication, helping children to use the app as a tool for problem solving.
Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.
This app can help children exercise their Planning thinking skill in a number of different ways. As users become more familiar with the layout and default vocabulary lists, they will be able to better plan their words and phrases in order to maximize speed and efficiency of language. Avaz can also help users with Planning through its powerful customization options. Users may rearrange, add, or delete their vocabulary categories to best fit their own needs at home or at school. Most importantly, users can create custom vocabulary sets to personalize the experience, allowing them to tailor the app to their specific routine. By creating buttons for words or phrases, as well as choosing the icon pictures, users can create quick and easy-to-use vocabulary lists which are customized to suit their immediate needs. Planning is essential to this process, as users will need to determine which words and phrases are most useful to them in different and unique situations.
Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings.
Avaz can empower users by giving them the ability to easily express themselves, helping them to better understand their social role within the family, peer group, or classroom. This app provides plenty of vocabulary for expressing needs, feelings, and opinions so that users who normally struggle to express themselves verbally can make others aware of their thoughts and ideas. When in the classroom, users of Avaz are empowered to communicate an answer to a question posed by a teacher, or ask their own questions when they do not understand a lesson. Essential to communication in social situations is understanding one's own needs and desires. With Avaz, users are given the tools they need to express themselves and acclimate to various social roles across different personal interactions.
Recalling and retaining information in our mind while working.
Avaz is an excellent agent for exercising users' Working Memory. In order to increase the speed and efficiency of their communications, users will need to familiarize themselves with the location and layout of different useful words and phrases for different situations. The main goal should be to learn the ins and outs of the app until its use becomes a sort of second nature. The more users practice with Avaz, the greater their speed and efficiency with the app will be. Users will draw on Working Memory skills in order to communicate quickly and coherently as they begin to develop familiarity with vocabulary categories, enabling them to build more complex sentences and phrases, as well as form more expressive personal communications.
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