Speech devices can vary from the PECS system with pictures on index cards up to a portable computerized speech device.
With computerized devices the child uses it enough that it becomes motor memory similar to typing skills.
The goal is for the child to say what they want when they want int and have spontaneous communication.
A team can assess a child’s need for a device. This is often done through the school system.
Symbol systems have pictures. When the child presses the apple picture the device says apple.
Unity is the software in all PRC brand devices. It runs on the philosophy of vocabulary, stable icon locations, and a rule based approach to speech. It doesn’t have time-consuming navigation routines.
AAC devices don’t get used because:
• It’s not customized right
• The child doesn’t understand it yet.
• They seem to think it’s not important
• They get what they want without it. Parents speak for them.
• Kids don’t want to look different.
• They speak well enough that some will understand them without the device.
Use the device to:
• Request an action or object
• Get attention
• Asking for or sharing information
To encourage use:
• Make it accessible
• Load appropriate vocabulary
• Create a learning environment for the child
• Use appropriate activities
Use the language activity monitor at school. It logs usage so parents can see if the device is used at school.
The cost of a device that does speech synthesis can run up to $7,500. Insurance providers will cover up to 80%.