Given J-Man’s sudden proliferation of letter recognition and continued progress with picture communication, it looks like he may be a prime candidate for some sort of assistive technology device to help him communicate. While I’m a self-professed geek, I don’t know the first thing about what the technological possibilities are for him. I know a lot about designing web sites for people who use screen readers and otherwise creating accessible web sites, but I don’t know jack about what devices an almost-three-year-old could use to communicate.
Since his speech therapist seems to believe it’s likely he’ll have a hard time being understood for a long while even if he starts getting more words out, this is a path we need to consider.
So, this is where you come in. We’re looking for anything anyone knows about assistive technology for helping autistic toddlers communicate, or kids in general. Please leave a comment in this post or e-mail us privately and let us know your experience. We’d really appreciate it.
Here are some questions we have now. Obviously there’s stuff we haven’t thought of, so please feel free to stray from the questions and tell us everything you know.
- Have any of you used any sort of assistive technology devices to help your kids communicate? If so, what devices and how well did they work?
- Do you know of any good web sites that provide helpful and accurate info about this? (I looked up some stuff on Google real quick and the sites were either marginally informative or just broken links.)
- I have heard that it’s a requirement that assistive technology be discussed during the IEP process and a determination made about whether it’s appropriate for your child. If that’s correct, has anyone gotten their schools to cover this? If so, how hard was it? Did they approve something that was the equivalent of a 20-year-old laptop and you have to pay out of pocket for something that worked well?
- What’s a good way to get ‘loaners’ and try this stuff out before money gets shelled out for it?
Really, just tell us anything you know. We’d be most grateful. Thanks!