High Tech AAC
I have supported many children and their families in getting started high-tech AAC. I have worked with a range of communication devices and software, including products from Tobii (I-Series, PCEye Go, Communicator, Sensory EyeFX), Sensory Software (Grid2, PowerBox), Dynavox, AssitiveWare (Proloquo2Go, Pictello) and Apple (iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone, iPod Touch).
PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) is a structured approach to learning to communicate, originally developed for children with autism spectrum conditions. The child is initially taught to exchange a small picture card for a desired object. Gradually, the child learns to use an array of picture cards to build sentences, express their needs and make comments. I have attended official PECS training and have introduced the system for many children.
I am trained to use Makaton (level 1) and find this a very effective system for supporting both verbal and non-verbal children. Makaton is always used alongside speech (never just signs) and provides a supportive bridge into talking for many children. Adults can also use signing to help children understand what they are saying, as it introduces a visual element. This is helpful for many children, including those with a language delay, as well as children who speak English as an additional language.