I am a speech-language pathologist working with verbal, minimally verbal, and non-verbal children on my caseload. I use Bluebee Pal Leo the Lion in nearly all of my therapy sessions. Leo the Lion, while paired to my iPad as I use absolutely any text-to-speech or communication app, provides spoken instructions to my students.
The kiddos sometimes ignore me, a human (I think), but I haven’t yet noticed anyone ignoring Bluebee Pal Leo, who is a cute robotic stuffed animal kind of thing, who moves his mouth as he talks or sings. I can’t compete with Leo. When he runs out of power (which takes days of use to happen), and I put him on the shelf, my kiddos look up at him, point, and request him! He is a powerful motivator for a number of my students who in the past resisted demands to try to pronounce difficult words but now readily imitate Leo. They sing along with him (e.g., Spotify app), and he tells them stories (e.g., MyOn app). https://www.bluebeepals.com
Their increased engagement has resulted in measurable therapeutic gains, whether quality of speech production, range of vocabulary on a speech device (e.g., Proloquo2Go app; LAMP Words for Life app; TouchChat app), combining words, or adding new communicative functions. Students who previously requested only, learned from Leo to direct a peer to take turns or perform actions in a game (e.g., open). As a bilingual provider, I toggle languages on my personal communication apps to change the language when needed. So, Leo speaks Spanish (or any other language) that my apps support. https://aacapps.com
I recommend Bluebee Pals for your kiddos. – Joseph Kurtz, Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist, MS, CCC-SLP, PC
242 Cooper Street, Brooklyn NY 11207