Speech-generating devices (SGDs) are defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as, "durable medical equipment that provides an individual who has a severe speech impairment with the ability to meet his or her functional speaking needs."
What they are, however, is life-changing.
AAC devices not only have robust language systems to allow for effective and efficient communication, but they also provide alternative ways to select letters, words and messages.
For example, an individual can make a selection on an SGD by:
A major advantage of SGDs is that the device allows the individual to say and play with words, which helps the process of acquiring new words and language. In addition, pairing the communicated word with voice output may help the child with the auditory processing of spoken language.
Using an SGD is different than using a communication app on a mobile device such as an iPad, as AAC devices are especially designed for the varying and specific needs of individuals with complex communication profiles. In some cases, an AAC device may be recommended even if a child has had some success using an app on a mobile device to communicate.
Meet Noah Trembly, long-time PRC user, Ambassador and advocate for others.
Helping your child become used to and familiar with the device is critical to their overall success with the device. Following are a few “keys to success” to keep in mind as you and your child begin working with your SGD: