Seeing your child grow and develop is one of the most rewarding experiences. Watching them become their own person and seeing their creativity and understanding of the world grow is nothing short of amazing.
If your child has trouble speaking, it can make it hard for them to express themselves. Knowing the tools available to help them communicate and teaching them how to use them can open up new opportunities for them to grow in their ability to communicate with others.
In this blog, we’ll look at the following:
- What is an AAC device?
- What are examples of AAC devices?
- Who can benefit from an AAC device?
- How does a child get an AAC device?
- How can you implement AAC for your child?
What is AAC for Autism?
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) uses methods and tools other than verbal speech to help children who have difficulty speaking communicate their wants and needs. These methods can include pictures, symbols, sign language, and electronic devices. AAC aims to enhance or replace speech for individuals who have difficulty speaking or communicating verbally.
What are Examples of AAC Devices?
AAC devices come in numerous forms and complexity, from high-tech to basic picture books.
Some examples of AAC devices include:
- Physical pictures
- Pre-recorded messages and speech devices (GoTalk Communication Aid, BIGmack Communicator)
- Picture exchange communication systems (PECS)
- Electronic tablet speech application programs (e.g., ProLoQuo2Go, Lenovo Tabs, or Dell Venues)
- Speech-generating devices (hand-held electronic devices that represent words, phrases, and symbols by pressing buttons or keys)
Who Can Benefit From an AAC Device?
AAC systems can benefit anyone who has difficulties with verbal communication. This covers a wide range of speech and language developmental disorders and disabilities, such as:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Speech and Language Disorders (e.g., stuttering, Dysarthria, and Apraxia)
- Hearing loss and deafness
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Voice problems (e.g., Dysphonia, cleft lip or palate)
An AAC device can give a voice to children who can’t speak or have trouble speaking and help them express themselves and to be understood by others.
How Does a Child Get an AAC Device?
You don’t have to meet certain requirements to use an AAC device; Anyone who has trouble communicating verbally can use one, whether or not they have a medical diagnosis.
- Store-Bought Devices: AAC devices can be bought through different online and in-person stores.
- Digital Apps: You can also download apps onto your phone or tablet, which may be a more convenient, cost-efficient option.
- Insurance Coverage: In some cases, insurance may cover an AAC device for a child with an IEP or deemed medically necessary.
How Can You Implement AAC for Your Child?
When you’re setting up and using an AAC device for your child, there are some things you can do to make sure it works well for them.
- Evaluate Your Child: It’s important to look at your child’s verbal development, strengths, and weaknesses so you can choose the best device for them.
- Choose an AAC Device: Talk to your child’s primary care doctor or speech-language pathologist to find out which device best suits your child’s needs and goals.
- Learn the Device: Your child will need to know how to use the device to communicate effectively. You should learn how to use it first, and you can get help from a professional to teach your child.
- Encourage Daily Use: Make sure your child uses the device in their everyday life and support them in using it to communicate. Give them positive feedback for using it correctly.
- Stay Up-to-Date on the Device: Be aware of any updates or changes to the device and be prepared to help your child learn how to use it. You can also check in with their doctor or therapist to see if there are any newer devices that would work better for them.
Roman Empire Offers Developmental Training Services
At Roman Empire, we want to see you or your loved one succeed. Along with using an augmentative and alternative communication device, joining our program can help you develop the necessary skills you need to achieve your goals.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and how to get started.