iPad as Augmentative Communication Device

We’ve had a great start to the New Year.  I’d like to thank God for blessing us, and I’d also like to think it’s due to the family doing more efforts towards volunteering with our community; either way, we are blessed.

Most recently I had a meeting with the school about Max’s need for an augmentative communication device that he’ll actually use.   We’ve used the Vantage and iTouch with the Proloque2Go in the past, but he never picked it up… almost literally never picked it up.  It’s nice to see pricey items such as that do nothing but collect dust, but I think it’s due to his ability to slightly speak and that the devices just weren’t the right fit.   So, at the beginning of the year his amazing speech therapist, Devyn, began testing different devices to see what Max wanted (instead of us telling him what he wanted).  After testing out 8 different devices, he finally settled on the iPad.  His preference for this device was because the voice was very clear (besides, this voice will be representing him), he could connect to the Internet, he could do his homework on it and it has word processing.  The school and I met to discuss the different devices and all agreed that the iPad was the right choice.  We have a state program that loans iPads to disabled people in school, so he was able to get a loaner to begin training/learning on one, but it’s not really an at home and social device – it’s strictly for school.  This is nice, because we can at least get practice on it, but there are other situations that he deals with at home and in public where he also needs this device.

So, it comes down to cost, and with an 11-year-old boy, that cost needs to include the iPad, the app, the protective cover, the keyboard and God only knows what else… basically, we’re looking at putting out about $1,000 for this device.  Yes, it’s much cheaper than other devices, and yes, he needs this device, but, well, it’s just not that easy to come up with that kind of money all at once; especially, with his past of not engaging with the other devices.