- AACs are only for kids that are completely non-verbal. Ah, NOPE! AACs are for anyone with a speech disorder.
- AACs would be used as a crutch for kids that have any verbal ability; they’d lose speech. Ah, NOPE! In fact, the children engage with the devices. They repeat the words they hear on the devices, actually building their vocabulary!
- AACs are too expensive; I could never afford one. NOPE! There are a couple ways to get a device without ever spending a penny. I’ll explain that further down.
- AACs will fix all my child’s speech problems. Again, NOPE! AACs will greatly assist, but if your child has a severe speech disorder, your child will always struggle in this area. AACs are meant to reduce the stress incurred from their inability to communicate effectively. They work great, but they don’t solve all problems. A Total Communication System is necessary throughout life.
“Total communication [TC] is the combined use of signs/gestures/pictures with speech to facilitate communication development. Its purpose is to provide a language system so [the] child may communicate with others and learn that needs can be met through communication”(Kumin, 1994).
- Contact a specialist in AAC devices and request an intake evaluation. This is a great link to find someone in your area. http://www.slplocator.com/FindAnSLP.aspx
- Take that evaluation to your school and request they provide the trials for your child. If they give you a hard time about this, contact me. I went through it myself. They HAVE to comply with that evaluation. Your child will try various devices over a 24 week period to determine which is best.
- Once the device is decided upon, there are two options. One, you can request the school purchase the device, but if you go that route, the school owns it, and most likely, your child will never get to bring it home, although some schools allow it. Two, you can go through your insurance company to get a device purchased for your child, and that’s the best route. In order to do this, you will need a prescription from your child’s PCP. If you want more information, again, contact me. (There is a "Contact Us" link at the top navigation bar that will give you all my contact info.) I will be more than happy to assist you in the process.
Find a local Dynavox Sales Consultant http://www.dynavoxtech.com/products/sales/default.aspx
They can help walk you through the process, provide all necessary forms, and offer lots of support.