(Reviewed alongside ISPEEK at Home) 'These CDs are aimed at workers and carers of children with autistic spectrum disorders and communication difficulties. The discs contain thousands of symbols that can be used to convey messages without language. Also included are templates of useful tools, such as daily schedules, and ideas for parents and teachers to help them devise visual aids.'
ISPEEK is a CD collection of 1,300 images for communicating with children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The first thing that struck me about it was that it was different from other symbol - generating software I have used. Its huge advantage is that you can import its clip art images into almost any program. The CD is simple enough for even the most technophobic member of staff to use and its symbols can be increased to at least A4 size without losing too much definition. ISPEEK includes templates to place pictures in as well as pre-designed timetables that include coming to school and the school day. The symbols are well catalogued and have clearly been designed by someone with a very good understanding of autism. The behaviour symbols are superb and cover a number of behaviours often seen by children with ASD although we will also be using them with some of our neurotypical pupils. Pupils also like the symbols and have commented on their suitability. The symbols themselves are mostly clear and self-explanatory if you choose to use them without the text. I found it hard to think of any that are not on this CD. I will certainly be recommending ISPEEK to some of the parents in our school community. All in all I was very impressed and can see this CD being used a lot around school. Some of its symbols are already replacing some of the less appropriate ones we used to use. A big thumbs up to ISPEEK.
Imagine how frustrating life would be if you had significant difficulty not only understanding others' thoughts and feelings when conveyed by speech and gestures, but difficulty expressing your own thoughts and feelings. The excellent ISPEEK resources will enable a person with autism to use visual images to understand what someone wants to communicate, and to express his or her own thoughts and feelings. I know these resources will greatly improve the happiness and quality of life of individuals with autism, their carers and support staff.
Jonathan Harris, Autism Consultant
ISPEEK is a unique resource which can be used by parents and professionals alike. It is very easy to use and can be applied to any intervention which enhances the development of social and learning skills, a valuable tool for all special needs education.
This resource certainly has its place in the development of young people as they set out on their Christian walk.