AAC Devices: What They Are and How You Can Get One For Your Autistic Child - Here On The Spectrum

AAC stands for “alternative and augmentative communication,” which is a type of assistive technology that uses symbols to convey specific messages. This article discusses how this device can improve your child’s life as well as what you need to know before getting one.

AAC devices are high-tech, and they can be used to help children with autism. AAC stands for “Augmentative and Alternative Communication.” There are many different types of AAC devices available, including those that work with voice, text, pictures, or sign language.

Alternative and augmentative communication is known as AAC. Any non-verbal form of communication, such as body language, choice boards, and sign language, is included in AAC.

The fundamentals of reliable AAC systems are discussed in this article, along with how to get one for your autistic kid.

An AAC device is what?

The term “AAC device” conjures up images of something very complex. In truth, the majority of AAC “devices” are just iPad or tablet applications. Some of them rely on symbols (using pictures). Others rely on text (using letters). numerous multimodal (using both).

When he was four years old, one of my kids began using a symbol-based software. It is known as Proloquo2Go. He’s beginning to utilize the app’s keyboard now that he’s older to type. He can effortlessly switch between the two modes thanks to the app.

iPad with Proloquo2Go app

An AAC gadget may be useful for whom?

An AAC device should be available to every youngster whose speech isn’t developing normally. the better, the sooner! I believe it is exceedingly unethical for physicians to prescribe behavioral therapies without discussing AAC, but that is a subject for another day.

AAC DOES NOT impede the development of speech. If anything, these tools can support all kids’ language development.

Any child’s overarching objective is to improve communication. A youngster will be more content the more they can express. Humans have the right to communicate.

I want to know when to inquire about an AAC gadget.

Yesterday! No, really. AAC does not need any prior knowledge or abilities. Your kid can use an AAC device if they can use your phone to play a game or watch YouTube.

Disclaimer: We’ll discuss this below, however some insurances may have a minimum age requirement for financing.

I would suggest that, if your therapist or doctor advises against getting an AAC device, you look for another practitioner. Send them a couple links from this page if not. I’m making an effort to provide plenty of trustworthy links.

How can I obtain my autistic kid an AAC device?

Choice 1:

Depending on the curriculum you choose, you may purchase an iPad or an Android tablet and download the software yourself. Get a strong case with a kickstand, please. Really, that’s all you need to begin going.

There are several free AAC applications available, however they aren’t reliable platforms.

The cost of robust AAC applications ranges from $100 to $300. Almost all of them go on sale twice a year, generally for 50% off, in April and October. (Be aware that each app chooses their own sale dates throughout these months.)

Before each month-long sale, Lauren S. Enders compiles all of the sale dates for the various applications.

1659751170_320_AAC-Devices-What-They-Are-and-How-You-Can-GetCome to Unprofessional Development Summer 2022 with us!

UPDATE: AssistiveWare introduced Proloquo, a ground-breaking new software, in March 2022. It is designed for kids who have strong eyesight and fine motor control (basically any child who can navigate an iPad). It is wonderful and offers a free trial period of one month.

Join us for one of our monthly small group meetings to find out more about what makes Proloquo so special and how it could affect inclusion.

Choice Two:

Your child’s pediatrician may also be able to help you get an AAC device. The majority of American health insurance plans will pay the price. I didn’t understand I could purchase it myself, so I went down this path for my kid. I mistakenly believed that AAC equipment was a real mechanism with a single purpose.

Insurance companies often demand evidence that speech treatment “isn’t working” and minimum age restrictions. I wanted you to be aware that these criteria are utter garbage.

Please don’t let the prerequisites stop you from beginning the procedure. The earlier you begin, the better.

Here’s what to do if you take this course of action:

  1. Request a recommendation from your child’s physician for an AAC evaluation, often known as an assessment of assistive technology. You don’t have to wait until your subsequent visit or schedule a different one with the doctor to accomplish this. They just need to fax or phone in the recommendation.
  2. Make the appointment, then leave. If you can skip to step two and schedule the appointment yourself since your insurer doesn’t need recommendations for specialists. AAC clinics are present in certain pediatric hospitals. Others carry out the evaluation at their speech therapy clinics.The therapists will test out several techniques throughout the meeting to see which one “fits” your kid the best. They will also determine if your youngster needs any accessories, such as a grid guard or a mount.
  3. Getting the gadget for your child: Ask inquiries regarding your choices while you are having your examination done! Inquire about in-network distributors and the procedure for the insurance you have.Depending on your insurance needs, this procedure changes. Certain insurance companies make it simple and send the gadget straight away. If you visit an AAC clinic, they can have their own procedure for you to follow.

    Regrettably, some insurance policies demand that the young patient undergo a trial term with required training sessions utilizing a rental gadget. We went through this procedure over the course of a year. Even while I did like my therapy sessions, it required a lot of work to complete everything.

AAC-Devices-What-They-Are-and-How-You-Can-GetKate Ahern’s Communication Bill of Rights

AAC in the Classroom

You may ask for an evaluation of assistive technology if your kid has an IEP. Email the request to yourself so that it is recorded. (Best practices are always documented.)

Because it will be a part of the IEP, this approach will guarantee that your kid gets constant access to a device at school.

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Continue Reading

This piece serves as a brief summary. The following links provide further information:

AAC Therapist Neurodiversity Collective information

My favorite Facebook learning community is called “Ask Me, I Use AAC.”

Describe AAC. ~AssistiveWare

Just Keep Stimming: All About AAC

An AAC app that is open source and cross-platform is called CoughDrop.

LAMP is another another capable AAC.

A list of resources for teaching spell-checking, pointing, and typing to non-speaking pupils

Around 100 Books on Autism and Neurodiversity The nonspeaking writers are given their own area.

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AAC devices are designed to help autistic children. They have a variety of features that make them ideal for use with children on the autism spectrum These include: Reference: aac activities for autism.

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