Helping Your Child Communicate: Voice4u

Parents of children with special needs know the heartache and frustration that often accompanies trying to provide their child with the services and care needed for their child to lead a healthy and productive life.

Yumi Kubo is one example.

Yumi Kubo, is the mother of a 15-year-old autistic son, and the founder and CEO of Spectrum Vision. She has created a communication application on the iPhone and iPod Touch called “Voice4u”.

Because her son is autistic and needed support with speaking, she purchased an augmentative and alternative communication device through her insurance. It took 6 months, and a lawyer to convince her insurance company to provide this device.

During that time, the therapists’ assessment was more than $1,000, (PLUS the $1,000 paid to an attorney to negotiate with the insurance company.)

This communication system was extremely hard to learn, not to mention how heavy and large and almost impossible it was to carry it around.

But the real kicker came when, after all of this, teachers and therapists explained to Yumi that the device was not fit for her son and he would never use it.

Can you feel the frustration yet?

Next, Yumi decided to purchase a communication application for the iPhone.

Unfortunately, this application had too many different functions which made it too hard for her son to use. ( $190 lost in a second!) The speech therapist who had 25 years of experience couldn’t use it, and Yumi’s engineers and her co-founder who has a Ph.D. from Stanford weren’t able to use it either.

Finally Yumi decided to take the issue into her own hands. She spoke with engineers, therapists, doctors and teachers, and all of these people were able to help her create Voice4u.



Thinking at first that it would be a personal application just for her son, Yumi soon realized that people around the world with disabilities should use Voice4u too, since they all need the support.



And thus Voice4u begun it’s worldwide journey.

The beauty that is Voice4u includes:

  • A very modest and VERY affordable price tag of @29.99. Yumi is passionate in her belief that no parent should be unable to help their child communicate because of giant price tags.
  • It is simple enough that 3 year olds can (and are!) using it.
  • You can add up to ONE THOUSAND of your OWN icons and sentences for your child to use.
  • The Voice4u website walks you through each and every step of how to use Voice4u via short vlogs. GREAT news for those of us who have less than stellar tech skills.

Parker and I have replaced his PECS with Voice4u. I wasn’t really thrilled with the whole PECS program, because, really having to add yet another big and bulky binder whenever we went anywhere….sucked.

We uploaded OUR VERY OWN PICTURES of our VERY OWN ITEMS onto our iTouch. Hello amazing. When Parker touches the picture he wants he hears my voice saying the name of what the picture represented.

Totally kicking the trash of digging through pages of downloaded pictures of items not easily recognizable by a kid with Down syndrome.

And remember….PECS provide visuals only.

Yumi has generously offered to give one of our readers a free Voice4U application. All you need to do to enter is to watch this short demo video of how Voice4u works and then come back and leave a comment telling one thing you learned about Voice4u.

If you would like extra entries:

Because I choose to blog with integrity: This is indeed a sponsored post. The revenue from this post went directly into Parker’s Medical Fund. Parker also received a free Voice4u application to try out. We love it. Please be advised that if this product would have not been fantastic there would have been absolutely no way I would have offered up this post or giveaway. Oh, and today’s breakfast included a grape spritzer and a piece of toast with organic almond butter I bummed off of Parker.

You can also find Tammy and Parker blogging over at Praying For Parker and on Twitter where they are known as ParkerMama.

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