What’s the best AAC app? What’s the best dedicated speech generating device? What’s the best case? What’s the best ______…..
Several times a week I am either asked this question or I see it posted in one of the many AAC Facebook groups I follow.
Occasionally it seems to end up in a rather heated debate of ______ vs. ________.
This is counterproductive. Although there are key best practices when considering AAC options, there is not any one best AAC option (or one best therapy approach, or one best anything) when it comes to best meeting individual needs.
I have added a lot of tools to my toolbox over my 24+ year career as a speech-language pathologist. There have been pivotal moments where new tools were added that forever changed my perspective. Although shiny new tools may be exciting they did not replace the old tried & true tools. The exciting thing about tools is that you can use them together to build & repair. Would it make sense to ask “What’s better…. a hammer or a drill? a saw or a tape measure? a wrench or a flashlight? Of course not. Each tool has it’s specific purpose. You select the tool based on what job you need to accomplish.
The show Handy Manny comes to mind. The tools don’t compete with each other. They work together.
Handy Manny: We Work Together
Okay Tools we’ve got a job to do
Let’s get going and fix it right
Twist and turn, make it tight
We work together now
Tap it flat
Bend and twist
Just like that
Each of us has a special job
We work together
We can fix it right
All states in the USA are supposed to have an Assistive Technology Lending Library program where parents & professionals can borrow AAC devices, iPads with AAC apps & other AT for short-term trial. It’s a great way to try various options out before making purchasing decisions. There are lots of great AAC devices & lots of great AAC apps…. but like anything there is no magical solution that meets every child’s specific needs. That’s why doing a good feature-match and trial of options is critical.
Find the AT Lending Library in your state: http://www.ataporg.org/states.html
Happy AAC Awareness Month!
Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities
Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2
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