There are lots of educational and fun applications for kids with speech delays for the Ipad and we have been playing around with some of them during Cayla’s speech pathology sessions at ‘Kids Are Kids’. She absolutely loves playing on my Iphone so doing stuff on an Ipad is even more fun! I thought I would bring this up with our speechy Susan at TCCP to see if an Ipad is something we could possibly get funding for. One thing led to another and we have now been in contact with Joelle who works for a department at TCCP called CP Tech. CP Tech assists people with cerebral palsy to gain greater independence through the fabrication of equipment and technology options. Joelle agree that the Ipad is great and lots of fun for kids however, she recommended another Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) system called Vantage Lite. AAC refers to any system a person uses to communicate in addition to or instead of speech.
Vantage Lite is a speech generating device with a colour touch screen and digital voice. It’s made up of lots of pictures (60 in Cayla’s case) and different picture combinations makes up various words. We are trialling this device for the next 3-4 weeks and if we believe it’s improving Cayla’s speech and level of communication then we’ll hopefully get to keep it. Cayla really enjoys using it and usually only needs a verbal prompt to use it. Her goal for the trial period is to learn the motor pattern for five words – GO, EAT, PLAY, HELP and WANT.
She already knows them and many more such as breakfast, cereal, toast, fruit, apple, banana, grapes, animals, dinosaur, lion, zebra, monkey, sleep, bed, rain, mummy, daddy, Cayla and Nathan. So yeah, she seem to pick it up pretty fast :) I was worried that a device like this would make her not using her own speech but research shows the opposite and the other day Cayla said the word ‘help’ and also did the key sign for it.