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The Most Popular AAC Devices

School Aged Girl utilizing AAC Device
“Every child deserves a voice.”
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices can help give that voice to children who have difficulty communicating with verbal speech. This might be due to Autism, Apraxia, Expressive language delay, Selective Mutism, Developmental Delay, or another medical diagnosis.

From a child who is nonverbal to one whose speech is difficult to understand, an AAC device (sometimes referred to as a Speech Generating Device or SGD) can provide several benefits.

AAC can teach and reinforce a child to communicate with others, reduce frustration due to difficulty communicating, enhance receptive language, and facilitate social interactions. And contrary to what some might think, there are no prerequisites needed for a child to begin using AAC!

The use of AAC is growing. In one study, approximately 12% of preschoolers who received special education services required AAC. With the growing popularity of AAC has come an increase in the types of software and devices available. There are options in the size, design of the language software, degree users are able to customize the device, and more, allowing parents to find the best fit for a child.

Here’s a list of the most popular AAC devices and the features that put them on our list!

#1 NovaChat by PRC-Saltillo

Nova Chat Device

Sizes: 5 inches (NovaChat 5), 8 inches (NovaChat 8), or 10 inches (NovaChat 10)
Vocabulary: WordPower, and several others
Why It’s Popular: The NovaChat offers WordPower vocabulary that’s designed for users to generate language quickly and easily. It’s also known for its user-friendly interface that makes it easy for parents and therapists to edit and customize for a child.

  • It’s dynamic. When the user presses a core word, such as “want”, the screen changes to predict what the user might want to say next, like “to eat” and “to play”.
    This makes it easy for some children to find the words they want to use.
  • It encourages children to combine words to form phrases and sentences. Because the screen changes based on a button the child presses, the child can more easily learn to put words together.
  • It’s customizable. Edit the word or message spoken for any button on the screen. Choose from hundreds of pre-loaded images or take a photograph to load onto the device.
    Several language files are available, which give options for the number of icons showing. You can choose to have anywhere from 4 to 140 buttons on the screen at once. The option to hide or resize buttons gives the user even more options for the available number of buttons.
  • Durability. The NovaChat offers an active wrap, tempered-glass screen protector, and a splash/dust resistant design. Not only that, but it comes with a five year warranty.

#2 Via Pro by PRC-Saltillo with TouchChat

Via Pro

Sizes: 11 inches (ViaPro) or 8 inches (ViaPro Mini)
Vocabulary: TouchChat with WordPower, LAMP Words for Life, and Dialogue AAC
Why It’s Popular: The ViaPro uses iOS technology, offering familiarity to Apple users. It offers the user-friendly TouchChat HD with Wordpower application in addition to a few innovative features.

  • Access options. For children who have difficulty using their hands to touch icons on the screen, the ViaPro offers more access options. This includes head tracking with facial recognition, so the user can activate buttons through different head or face
    movements. There’s also built-in switch scanning and other touch access features.
  • Split Screen. A child’s communication software and another app can be viewed side by side. That allows parents or SLPs to work with the child on describing photos or asking questions.
  • Ongoing support. Families and professionals working with a child have access to support and education for using the device. That includes local PRC-Saltillo representatives, live online webinars, and video tutorials.

#3 Tobii Dynavox with TD Snap

Tobii Dynavox i-110

Sizes: 10 inches (i–110), 12 inches (TD Pilot), 13 inches (i-13)
Vocabulary: TD Snap
Why It’s Popular: Tobii Dynavox is known as a leader in the AAC industry. The TD snap software is flexible and encourages children to use frequently occurring, helpful words. Their also known for their durability, and the company offers a warranty that gives parents piece of mind.

  • It focuses on core words. The TD Snap software incorporates words and symbols based on core words which make up 80% of what we all use in daily life.
  • Expandable grid sizes. The device can be programmed so that more icons are showing as a child’s communication skills grow.
  • Organized vocabulary. In addition to core words on the home page, there’s a Word List page with more specific vocabulary that helps a child communicate more precisely.
  • It can be activated by touch or the eyes. A child can activate the i-110 by touching the screen. For those who have difficulty using their hands, the buttons on the i-13 and TD Pilot can be activated when the child looks at them (eye gaze access).

#4 AbleNet QuickTalker Freestyle with Proloquo2Go

AbleNet QuickTalker Freestyle

Sizes: 9.7 inches (QuickTalker Freestyle), 7.9 inches (QuickTalker Freestyle Mini), or 12.9 inches (QuickTalker Freestyle Pro)
Vocabulary: Choose 1 from: Proloquo2Go, Avaz Pro, CoughDrop, Grid, and more
Why It’s Popular: The AbleNet QuickTalker Freestyle is a robust AAC device that offers 1 AAC app to be loaded from a choice of several popular options. The Proloquo2Go app is based on clinical knowledge and research in the field.

  • It helps a child gradually learn vocabulary. On Proloquo2Go, the Progressive Language feature and research-based core word Crescendo vocabulary start by teaching a child important core words to use (like “help” and “more”), then gradually reveals more words.
  • It provides consistency. Core words stay in the same location, which makes motor planning easy for many children.
  • Device Flexibility. Parents can select the device size that’s right for a child at one age, and have the option to change later with no cost.

#5 Accent by PRC-Saltillo with LAMP Words for Life

PRC-Saltillo Accent 800

Sizes: 8 inches (Accent 800), 10 inches (Accent 1000), or 14 inches (Accent 1400)
Vocabulary: LAMP Words for Life, Unity, WordPower, Core Scanner, Unidad, or Essence
Why It’s Popular: The Accent is a durable device that offers LAMP, a communication software that’s supported by research on language development.

  • Backed by Autism research. The LAMP software is specifically designed to help children with Autism communicate. Research shows it can increase spontaneous communication, increase the length of sentences used, and enhance a child’s receptive language.
  • It’s pre-programmed. 84 buttons are available in the vocabulary program, so it doesn’t require extensive customization or re-learning by the child as their language skills grow

#6 Forbes AAC ProSlate with Grid

Forbes ProSlate

Sizes: 8 inches (ProSlate 8D), 10 inches (ProSlate 10D), 13 inches (ProSlate 13D)
Vocabulary: Choose one out of any AAC app on the market (including Grid for iPad, Proloquo2Go, TouchChat HD, GoTalkNOW PLUS, Avaz, CoughDrop, and more)

Why It’s Popular: Offered on an iOS platform, Apple users might appreciate the options in communication apps (you can choose 1 to load), sizes, and colors. It offers a unique wearable speaker option.

  • Options for communication apps. Choose from one of any AAC app on the market to be pre-loaded onto the device. This includes CoughDrop, Avaz, Grid, and more.
  • Removable SoundPOD. The removable SoundPOD can be worn on a lanyard so the voice comes directly from the child rather than the device.
Wearable Sound Pod
  • Grid for iPad. Grid for iPad is a communication app that offers a variety of symbol based communication pages. It also includes Text Talker, a text based communication program.

Additional Resources

An AAC device is one of the best tools that can allow a child to communicate with others when speech is difficult for them. Devices also offer many other benefits, like improving receptive language skills and encouraging verbal speech production.

With so many AAC devices on the market, knowing the most popular options and what makes them unique can help parents choose the right communication device for their child.

The Speech-Language Pathologists at TherapyWorks are experienced in working with AAC devices. TherapyWorks offers speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and ABA. If you would like to learn more, or discuss your child’s specific needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to TherapyWorks!

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