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Parents of kids who are non-verbal, ASD? mama3trish 3 kids; Ontario 9524 posts
6th Jun '13

When did your non-verbal kid with autism start talking and or communicate and how-like at what age? After 2 and a half years of speech, and 30 hours a week of therapy for the last 8 months I am finally hearing the odd word. PECS aren't a big hit with him, and we are considering a communication device, but I am starting to hear words, so I am a little nervous about enabling him with a device. What do you think? BTW he will be 5 in October.

Mrs.Rachael +2.5 Due November 28; 18 kids; Shreveport, Louisiana 10326 posts
6th Jun '13

Watching, mine is three.

user banned 3 kids; Washington 15083 posts
6th Jun '13

A big part of a communication device is pecs. Has his SLP been trying one to see how he responds to it? If he will use it, IMO it would be better for getting ideas/wants/needs without the guess work and frustration. Because as long as you are still working on speech and encouraging that it shouldn't be a hindrance. In my mind, it would be the same as sign or another second language. And really, pecs isn't that far off from the communication device. The communication device is simpler to use and less clutter in the long run, because everything is always in one place rather than scattered through out the house.



If you have any questions feel free to get in touch. My son does not have ASD. But he did just get approved finally after months of fighting the insurance to get a communication device. He is 3.5 apraxic and very limited on speech sounds and production.



ETA pecs scattered through the house for us means, Velcro pictures on walls, tags and a booklet thing, laminated pages that are loose leaf and then a simple app on the iPad.

mama3trish 3 kids; Ontario 9524 posts
6th Jun '13
Quoting ♫ boobook ♫:" A big part of a communication device is pecs. Has his SLP been trying one to see how he responds to it? ... [snip!] ... Velcro pictures on walls, tags and a booklet thing, laminated pages that are loose leaf and then a simple app on the iPad."


We have been using PECS for about 2.5 years. This last 6 months we have been diligently using them but he has to be prompted and sometimes made to even look through the book, and then just walks away most of the time. We have schedules as well and he is finally looking at the PECS on the schedule but sometimes they don't register-meaning that I could show him that we are going to daycare and he won't cry until we head in the direction of the daycare opposed to crying when he sees the PEC. I just wonder if using a different device will make him dependent on it, and since he has begun to say an odd word, deplete his new vocabulary? I have an I-Pad and he has an I-Pod we bought at Christmas that was supposed to be for his communication device but have hesitated using it since again I am afraid he will just rely on that and stop saying new words? What is your opinion?
And congrats on getting approved and being a great advocate for your guy.

user banned 3 kids; Washington 15083 posts
6th Jun '13

<blockquote><b>Quoting mama3trish:</b>" We have been using PECS for about 2.5 years. This last 6 months we have been diligently using them but ... [snip!] ... that and stop saying new words? What is your opinion? And congrats on getting approved and being a great advocate for your guy."</blockquote>




I don't think it would stop him from using new words. I think it would make the journey less frustrating on the journey to get new words. What does his SLP think?



And, if you have the iPad I think sounding board is good- but it is work to set up. And also, Elements Child by Alexicom- much more options already programmed and simple to use would be good apps to maybe start with to see how he responds.

mama3trish 3 kids; Ontario 9524 posts
6th Jun '13
Quoting ♫ boobook ♫:" <blockquote><b>Quoting mama3trish:</b>" We have been using PECS for about 2.5 years. ... [snip!] ... Alexicom- much more options already programmed and simple to use would be good apps to maybe start with to see how he responds."

Okay, maybe I'll give it a try? See the Pathways here wants us to lease one, but we already have one, and they are only aware or approving of the Pro-lo to go app, and it costs almost &200. He doesn't technically have a speech therapist any more because he does IBI (intensive behavioral intervention) 30 hours a week and so Pathways doesn't like to work with them and backs off. His last ST was ineffective anyways-she was meek and mild and inexperienced, and he only got maybe 1 hour a month if lucky. The therapists aren't specialists in speech but they do promote and teach PECS. I will go to our meeting on the 20th to talk to the augmentative communication team and see what they have to offer-I just wanted an unbiased opinion. Thanks for all your help!

user banned 3 kids; Washington 15083 posts
6th Jun '13

<blockquote><b>Quoting mama3trish:</b>" Okay, maybe I'll give it a try? See the Pathways here wants us to lease one, but we already have one, ... [snip!] ... augmentative communication team and see what they have to offer-I just wanted an unbiased opinion. Thanks for all your help!"</blockquote>



Proloquo2Go is a good app, I haven't purchased because I wanted to wait to see if he was approved or not and wasn't willing to spend all that money on something that would be used for a short time. I personally would try something cheaper to see if he responds because what if he doesn't take to it?



Or like they are suggesting, lease theirs for a time and see how he does before committing? Just my thoughts.

Mommy of a giggler! 2 kids; Edmonton, Alberta 9017 posts
6th Jun '13

PECs didn't work for us - he'd only bring the card once he could actually say the word lol



Grunts and biting as communication until 3.5, then he started pointing and some small words.



Big break through was saying "more" (actually communicating he wanted more, until then, it was just echoing words) at about 4.



He's 5.5 now and talks non stop lol Most of it still doesn't make sense, but it's getting a lot clearer.

mama3trish 3 kids; Ontario 9524 posts
7th Jun '13
Quoting Mommy of a giggler!:" PECs didn't work for us - he'd only bring the card once he could actually say the word lol Grunts and ... [snip!] ... words) at about 4. He's 5.5 now and talks non stop lol Most of it still doesn't make sense, but it's getting a lot clearer."

I don't know why but I assumed Kieran could always talk. Brady would sometimes read the word on the card and then shove it back in his book. He is also very picture specific, for instance with yogurt drinks when they stop putting labels on the actual bottle the picture didn't match and so he wouldn't drink it and a huge tantrum would ensue. Thanks Crystal, I guess I could have asked you but I again assumed he (meaning Kieran) was just way higher functioning?

Mommy of a giggler! 2 kids; Edmonton, Alberta 9017 posts
7th Jun '13
Quoting mama3trish:" I don't know why but I assumed Kieran could always talk. Brady would sometimes read the word on the card ... [snip!] ... ensue. Thanks Crystal, I guess I could have asked you but I again assumed he (meaning Kieran) was just way higher functioning?"


To me he is :wink:



Honestly, it was REALLY tough. His only means of communication until 3 was just biting and grunting and screaming. Then we started him in a pre school program and he slowly (veeerrrryyy slowly) started pointing and pulling you towards things he wanted. It was like he didn't understand why saying the words was important.



Then, one day, we were sitting outside our OT's building. We would only go in at exactly the time of our appt so he wouldn't have to wait, and she would always schedule us after lunch so that we were the first in. I was eating Malteasers and I gave him one. He wanted more and was reaching and grunting. I kept reapeating "M. M. Mmmmm ooooo rrrr eeee". When he looked at my lips as I did it, I gave him one. Did that a few times - just to get him looking at my lips. Then he started forming his lips that way. Gave him another. Then the sounds started coming and after about the 16th Malteaser he said "more"!



I was so excited he ate the rest of the LARGE bag lol



Once that happened, it was like the light switch flicked and he realized that words could get him things. He had just turned 4. From there, it's just taken off.



Having them not be able to communicate is the hardest thing, but I have faith you will figure out the key that opens the door to him talking, just be patient and REALLY pay close attention to how he does communicate.