AAC - using a communication device support (and frustration!) thread.....come on in!

(5 Posts)
hazeyjane Sat 15-Apr-17 08:34:47

I have seen a couple of posts about AAC devices and wondered if there would be enough of us (or jut me rambling on my own!) to have a sporadic chat about why works, what doesn't, finding and sharing resources, how to kick school up the arse etc.

Ds is nearly 7, he has a severe expressive language delay and uses a 10 inch Grid Pad Go from Smartbox with the Grid 3 . We are struggling with it at the moment as he doesn't like carrying it around (it is big and heavy), and school have been crap about it being out all the time and tend to denigrate it over trying to use his voice (which he tries to do, but then no one understands him, so then he doesn't speak). We are just about to have a big review, see an AAC specialist and I need to knuckle down and see what other things are out there.

Hopefully someone might join me, and I won't be all alone here!!

OP’s posts: |
notgivingin789 Sat 15-Apr-17 09:34:00

Hey !

Just woke up to see this thread, great idea !

DS is newly 7, had a diagnosis of verbal dyspraxia and social communication disorder but very likely 99.9% on the Autistic spectrum.

He uses the Proloquo2go. After DS being assessed a an AAC specialist team they have increased his grid size so DS is having to practically adjust to the new set up and relearn his positions.

Hazey Does your DS have an EHCP ? You can get written onto the statement that the staff should use his AAC....and I would get an iPad for him, the iPad mini may be better as it's much smaller. But he can personalise it, change the case cover add something on I that he can carry it around hence upping his motivation to use it ?
Though talk to the AAC team.

Have you thought about changing schools ? From the top of my head, the ICAN Meath school supports AAC devices quite well when I went to visit it with DS a few years back.

HHH3 Sun 16-Apr-17 22:52:01


DS2 is 4 and we've been using the same as Hazey since January. We were given it by the AAC service and have a review in May.

DS has picked it up really quickly but is reluctant to use it. He'd much rather talk (which I'd never discourage) but it's so hard for people to understand him. The plan is that he speaks but when people really can't understand what he says he uses the AAC. Just got to convince him of that though! I don't think he really understand how unintelligible his speech is.

Nursery are also rubbish at encouraging him to use it and I don't think it's being used anywhere near as much as it's supposed to be. But we've just had his EHCP review and I've made sure it's written into that so hopefully that side of things will improve.

hazeyjane Mon 17-Apr-17 16:12:35

Hello not and HHH!!

Started thread and then disappeared, as ds is not great at the moment (he has chest problems and is really struggling at the moment)

What size device does your ds have HHH? Ds has a 10 inch tablet, and it just seems to big for him (he is quite small) and it is difficult for him to carry around. I see that if we get an ipad mini we should be able to transfer his grids to that device (annoyingly we got an ipad with a family fund grant, but got the full size one....darn!), but think Smartbox do a smaller device as well.....I'm not sure whether our funding includes upgrades!

The school thing is hard, he does have an EHCP, and we have all sorts specified, plus we have had meeting after meeting, but it doesn't stop the fact that they don't seem to take any notice of the importance of total communication - and the idea that, we (of course) want ds to use his voice, but if he isn't understood (which he isn't for about 90% of the time, he needs to have access to sign and AAC, and that these things need to be celebrated and not treated as an annoyance.

He is moving to juniors in September which is a different sn unit and senco, so hopefully things may change a little there. We have a meeting next week to discuss transition and training.

Unfortunately the nearest speech unit closed last year, and the next nearest one is very far away, and had no spaces, we could wait for one to come up but the 2 things that put us off were, 1) they were very offputting about AAC and 2) the distance.

Because of our other dds and ds's work I don't think we could move areas.

How do you both find using it at home? Ds often seems quite unwilling, and I watch things like the Neider family blog and see how at ease they all seem with it, and despair a bit!

Last year we were supposed to be meeting up with another AAC family, but it all fell apart, I'd love for ds to see someone using a device, as it may make it seem a little more 'normal' for him.

HHH - does your ds have a 1-1? Have they had training? I think as a 1-1in a preschool (which is what I do for a job), I would want full training, and I would probably also like to sit down and chat to you about games and strategies we could both use at home and in the setting.

OP’s posts: |
HHH3 Mon 17-Apr-17 19:01:16

I think ours is 10 inch too. It's heavy but it tends to stay in one place and he'll just get it if he needs it/is told to use it.

DS doesn't have 1:1. Private SALT went into nursery and did a training session with them though.

He's massively resistant to using it at home as he knows I understand him (I'm the only person that really does). But I try to get it to use it as much as possible. I don't want to make it a fight and something he hates. So I pretend I really don't understand him every now and then and ask him to get his 'talker' instead.

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