As many of you know we have started teaching Greyson how to use an AAC device to communicate. An AAC device is basically a tablet with a specific AAC app or program on it. In our case we use an old iPad, since it only has the one app on it. We do not allow him to use it for anything else so that there is no confusion, in regards to what it is to be used for. We have spent a lot of time in therapy working on it exclusively. Although we are not making progress in other areas by focusing completely on the AAC device, it is worth it in the end, because it is going to allow him to learn other things faster, as well as cut down on his challenging behaviors. Challenging behaviors are predominantly caused to frustration over not being able to communicate.
We have spent 3-4 weeks now working on the AAC device and we are now starting to fade out his ability to request his iPad during therapy and adding in more trials again. It is going extremely well and his ability to understand and use the device is exploding. He no longer hand leads us to get him food, yogurt or puffs.
In fact today, he went over to the cabinet where his food is and looked in it and instead of picking something and handing it to us, he looked at what was in the cabinet, went back to the AAC device and selected it on the app. His thought process is becoming incredible. He is processing information so much faster now that he is learning how to use the device.
We are seeing so many positives come from implementing the AAC device. He is now learning to communicate in an effective way. He is using his words on the device instead of hand leading. He is typing words and requests on the keyboard part of the AAC device, which is showing off his knowledge and intelligence. Previously, we knew he was intelligent but weren’t able to truly identify what, or how much he really knew and the AAC device is really allowing him to show that now. The next step will be huge for all of us. We will be teaching him the emotions. This is what is going to dramatically affect his frustration and challenging behaviors and we believe this is going to be the next huge breakthrough for Greyson!