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using VOCA for apraxia and specific expressive language disorder

Posted by on Apr. 6, 2008 at 6:16 PM
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Hello, I have a 3.1 year old son with severe apraxia of speech and global apraxia.  He is currently using words and improving his language...but it is at a really slow pace.  He becomes very frustrated when he is unable to communicate his wants and needs fast enough. I was wondering if anyone on here uses a vantage plus or voca device for their child.  Gabe can sign a little but again, the motor planning is sometimes very hard for him.  I am looking for somthing that he can be spontaneous with...we have a demo vantage on our computer...and he has been using it...but moving the mouse on my laptop is tedious for him...so he isn't using it as much as I think he would if he had a touch screen instead...
any info would be great...thanks!

by on Apr. 6, 2008 at 6:16 PM
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Replies (1-6):
Juliashooz
by New Member on Apr. 8, 2008 at 6:45 PM
My daughter (age 5) uses a Dynavox MT4, but we are looking at transitioning to something new since that product is no longer made and will become harder to maintain/fix, etc..  We inherited the device from a friend's son.  My daughter is unable to speak due to anatomical issues with her jaw, oral airway, etc.  She does well with the device and with her signing.

Has your son been evaulated by an Augmentative communication team? We have one at our Children's Hospital.  I believe organizations like Easter Seals do them too.  I think most people want to trial the real devices before a purchase is made and this can be worked out with the company.  Is there a school team involved?  I think it's hard to make decisions about what is the right without the input from SLPs.   In Massachusetts, we are covered by MassHealth which pays for AAC devices, but it is a long approval process and I believe they pay for only one every five years.   also you might want to considering joining the yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PACT/
there are many parents and professionals familiar with AAC devices.

-christine
glerby
by New Member on Apr. 9, 2008 at 9:33 PM

Hi and thanks for the reply.  My son has not yet had an eval.  I just put a request in with the school district...as did his pediatrician...so we will see what happens.  My son does have functional speech...but he is often misunderstood and gets very frustrated when people don't know what he is saying...we mainly want the device to ease his frustration.  Gabe has had a lot of success with the vantage on our computer....so now we just have to wait to see what the school says...

What other devices are you looking into? does your daughter use PCS or the minspeak program....we are just doing PCS stuff with gabe....but the vantage plus has the 84 unity minspeak program on it....I don't know if gabe will really ever need minspeak....

I will have to check out the yahoo group...thanks for the link....

goodasitgets
by Group Owner on Apr. 10, 2008 at 1:18 PM
We love our TouchWindow by Edmark Corporation. My son now also uses the mouse, but still uses the touch screen for many applications. It was a very worthwhile investment. The only problem we had with it was that we had to use more than just the mounting system that came with it because it kept falling off...I added more velcro and even some clear packing tape...attractive no, but effective!

The latest communication device we tried was the Cyrano Communicator...there is a post on this list about it.  We really like how portable it is and all the options to customize it. It even has a digital camera built in so you can add actual photos for the communication buttons and you can record the voice input yourself. For my son's we had my teenage son recording the voice for the buttons. If we buy a device, this will be the best fit for us.
glerby
by New Member on Apr. 10, 2008 at 7:40 PM
I actually just emailed the crayno co. because I had some questions about the voice out put...they don't have any children voices for the device...but the man that responded to my email said you can change the pitch of the voices and that helps...I don't want to have to record the voice for gabe because we don't have anyone young enough that can record for him....and I don't want him to have my voice on it....

I like the smallness of the crayno....and i like the pricetag attached to it as well....the vantage is going to cost almost 8000 vs. 2000 for the crayno...

i still haven't heard from the school...but I just gave them a letter requesting the eval...so maybe next week I will hear from them....I hope I do
goodasitgets
by Group Owner on Apr. 14, 2008 at 2:38 PM
Yes with the price tag of the Cyrano compared to other communication devices you could more easily replace it in a few  years if needed. Supposedly it is supposed to be able to grow and last longer than that though. I had also consider the Tango but it had the huge $7000 price tag and was bigger to lug around. The Cyrano looks a lot more natural to carry around. The user does have to have some fine motor control to use the smaller device though especially if you go with a 6 button screen for your page bases. You don not have to use the stypus though and can just use a finger to point ot he screen buttons. I thought the Cyrano was only $1200...has that price gone up?
Quoting glerby:

I actually just emailed the crayno co. because I had some questions about the voice out put...they don't have any children voices for the device...but the man that responded to my email said you can change the pitch of the voices and that helps...I don't want to have to record the voice for gabe because we don't have anyone young enough that can record for him....and I don't want him to have my voice on it....

I like the smallness of the crayno....and i like the pricetag attached to it as well....the vantage is going to cost almost 8000 vs. 2000 for the crayno...

i still haven't heard from the school...but I just gave them a letter requesting the eval...so maybe next week I will hear from them....I hope I do
glerby
by New Member on Apr. 15, 2008 at 3:11 PM
I don't know if the price went up....but it seems that there is a 2nd generation cyrano now...and that starts at 1300 I think...but we would need the case to go with it....one of the SLP's that I talked to seem to think that gabe would do better with the vantage plus...but we didnt' have any specific testing yet....waiting on the school to get back with me....but I might go with a private eval to get some quicker testing done...
Quoting goodasitgets:

Yes with the price tag of the Cyrano compared to other communication devices you could more easily replace it in a few  years if needed. Supposedly it is supposed to be able to grow and last longer than that though. I had also consider the Tango but it had the huge $7000 price tag and was bigger to lug around. The Cyrano looks a lot more natural to carry around. The user does have to have some fine motor control to use the smaller device though especially if you go with a 6 button screen for your page bases. You don not have to use the stypus though and can just use a finger to point ot he screen buttons. I thought the Cyrano was only $1200...has that price gone up?
Quoting glerby:

I actually just emailed the crayno co. because I had some questions about the voice out put...they don't have any children voices for the device...but the man that responded to my email said you can change the pitch of the voices and that helps...I don't want to have to record the voice for gabe because we don't have anyone young enough that can record for him....and I don't want him to have my voice on it....

I like the smallness of the crayno....and i like the pricetag attached to it as well....the vantage is going to cost almost 8000 vs. 2000 for the crayno...

i still haven't heard from the school...but I just gave them a letter requesting the eval...so maybe next week I will hear from them....I hope I do
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