Before my son was diagnosed with Autism, he was receiving services for a speech delay. We, as all parents do, were trying everything to help him.
One of the coolest gadgets that we use is the Amazon Echo! I am a big fan of the Amazon Prime two days shipping, but a HUGE surprise has been the GINORMOUS music library that is included with Amazon Prime (and that's not it. Gizmodo calls it the best deal in tech). This one-two combination is just incredible!
With Alexa, (Echo's name) Ry can ask for a song that he wants! He started out
"A yess ka?"
"a YESS ka?"
Slowly, but surely, he slowed down, calmed down, and figured out that she would light up when he said it right.
"a-LEX-ah, play GO AWAY by WEEZER!"
"a-LEX-ah, PLAY RUBY SOHO!"
"a-LEX-ah, PLAY LET IT GO!"
Its not a big deal for most kids, but the first time that he articulated it well enough for Echo to understand, we were very excited! Alexa stores our music library (plus Pandora and I Heart Radio), and we can ask for any song on demand. (There are a lot of free ones too.)
Now he is able to activate her, ask for a song that he wants to hear, or set a timer for sharing toys. This is actually new and I love it. When he shares his favorite toy, he will walk over to the Echo, and say, "Alexa, set a two minute timer." I cracked up the first time!
Echo is not just a gimmick for the kidlets. Its voice activation lets me ask for kitchen conversions with dirty hands, order things from Amazon (DANGER), or what the weather will be tomorrow. Just in case you are concerned, (like my super nerd hubs) the sound quality is excellent. My very favorite feature is the shopping list. I simply ask Alexa to add something to the list. When shopping, I open the app to the shopping list, and BAM, there it is!
We have just begun to explore Echo's capabilities. It can tell jokes (from knock-knock to political), play bingo, and many, many other "skills" we have yet to explore. They have all of these new accessories to make it smart home compatible. You can program your thermostat, turn on lights, and do all kinds of neat things. We haven't taken that next step, but my hubby is very excited.
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