Type of AAC Devices
Simple communication devices can include simple picture books, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication Systems), picture boards, and basic recorded speech devices (Go Talk Communication Aid, BIGmack Communicator).
More advanced options include electronic tablet speech applications (examples: ProLoQuo2Go, Snap Core First utilized on an iPad). More advanced options also include dedicated speech devices that are devices that can only be used as a communication device (no other applications can be run on the device). These include devices by Dynavox and Saltillo.
Since there are different types of devices a child can use, the evaluation process will help determine the child’s communication strengths and find the best fit for the child.
Prerequisites for Using a High-Tech AAC Device
There are no prerequisites for learning to use an AAC device, other than the ability to produce a purposeful movement. “All individuals should have access to AAC systems or devices that promote effective communication.” (ASHA)
In normal development, children learn meanings of first words by playing with sounds made in the mouth and seeing the reaction of others. Consistent motor movements result in consistent voice output that when integrated with social responses provides meaning to the word. A high-tech device with consistent motor patterns and voice output allows the non-speaking child to learn language in this same manner.