Self-expression of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is another universal challenge experienced by individuals with ID/DD with varying levels of severity. Some users are non-verbal and cannot effectively communicate vocally, while others have not yet mastered the cognitive processes for formulating a message they want to communicate, yet all users are capable of reporting much more with the assistance of MyGuide than without it. For example, a user without communication deficits answers all questions asked of him with the last phrase he heard, or another user answers all questions with the same word, phrase, or sound, particularly if the question is on-demand, without priming or time to consider an answer.

Instead, MyGuide enables users to report two types of data to anyone whom they give permission to receive notification and reports, even in real-time. The first type is utilization data, which is time and date stamped data about the user’s viewing and completion of every step of every guide in their MyGuide account. The second type is user-reported responses to custom questions built into a guide. There are four ways a guide can be customized to prompt the user to express opinions, choices, feelings, symptoms, activities, behaviors, etc. The first is an open-ended question that the user can type or dictate a long answer. The second and third way a user can communicate with MyGuide is by customizing a question and an unlimited number of response options, from which they can choose one responses or multiple responses. Finally, the fourth way a user can express their thoughts, feelings, or activities is through a status check. The MyGuide will offer any number of images for the user to select, with or without a text description, to represent a response to a customized pre-programmed question.

Examples: took medication, food log, symptom list, time studying, chores completed, mood reporting, food preferences, staff who provided meds or lunch, preparations for tomorrow, driver who picked up/ dropped off.