AAC Evaluation for a Child or user with Developmental Delays

 AUGMENTATIVE COMMUNICATION EVALUATION

Name:                                       

Date of Birth:                            March 28, 2000

Chronological Age:                          years,       months

Date of Evaluation:                   

Evaluators:                                                   

REASON FOR REFERRAL

Firstname Lastname is a       year,       month old male, who was referred to the Assistive Technology Team at the       by the Division of Developmental Disabilities to determine augmentative communication systems and techniques which would be appropriate for his needs.  Reports and documents were submitted to the       via DDD for review prior to the scheduled evaluation.  The evaluation took place at      

Present at the evaluation were Firstname,      .

 

DIAGNOSIS

According to documents in the file, Firstname has a diagnosis of      .

HEARING AND VISION STATUS

According to the Client Intake Form completed by      , Firstname’s  .       Firstname  He  distracted by noisy environments. His vision .       He  wear glasses. He   easily distracted by visual stimulation.

Firstname appeared to have functional hearing during the evaluation.  He responded to conversation at normal loudness levels. He appeared to use his vision functionally to interact with augmentative communication systems. He was able to visually discriminate among pictures      ” square, both black and white and color, during the evaluation.

 

 

BACKGROUND  INFORMATION

According to a Communication Skills Questionnaire completed by       and dated      , expressively Firstname is      . His primary mode of communication is through      . He  used AAC systems in the past      . He  not write. Receptively Firstname is able to      .

Firstname’s communication behaviors include:

  •  initiating communication,       
  •  responding to communication,      
  •  gaining attention,      
  •  expressing wants and needs,      
  •  making choices,      
  •  asking questions,      
  •  describing a sequence of events,      
  •  expressing feelings and emotions,      
  •  using repair strategies,      
  •  using turn taking,      
  •  following directions,      
  •  understanding social routines and humor, and
  •  recognizing/discriminating symbols/pictures. (Type of pictures:      )

Firstname’s oral motor structures      . His swallowing/feeding      . His respiration      . Drooling      .

According to a Client Intake Form completed by      , and dated      :

  • Firstname is  .
  • Firstname  mobility aids.      
  • His ability to hold his head up is  .
  • His ability to sit without support is .
  • Muscle tone in his arms/hands is .
  • He demonstrates preference for his .
  • He is able to pick up and hold a cup, spoon, cookie, raisin.
  • He is able to place and let go (without dropping) a cup, spoon, cookie, raisin.
  • He can independently use buttons, zippers, and  shoe laces.
  • He is able to point to and press buttons the size of pop machine buttons,

elevator buttons, telephone buttons.

According to the Present Levels of Performance of Firstname’s most recent Individual Education Plan dated      , Firstname      

An speech/language evaluation completed on       by       indicated      

An occupational therapy evaluation completed on       by       indicated      

A physical therapy evaluation performed on       by       indicated      

PRESENT COMMUNICATION STATUS

Firstname presented as a   who demonstrated  communicative intent even with unfamiliar people.  He used various modes of unaided communication that included good eye contact, facial expression, body posture, gestures such as pointing to items, sign language, vocalizations, and verbal approximations. He has difficulty coordinating the articulatory, respiratory and phonatory systems in order to produce intelligible speech due to .  Pictures and symbols  been introduced to Firstname as an alternate form of communication.

Identified functional communication limitations include:

1)      inability to effectively relay information regarding health status and related medical information,

2)      inability to communicate emergency needs via telephone,

3)      inability to gain attention or indicate to people in the  environment when help is needed,

4)      inability to participate in, direct, or communicate needs regarding activities of daily living,

5)      limited in community participation due to inability to communicate effectively with unfamiliar or less familiar people,

6)      ability to develop literacy skills is impaired due to limited ability to sound out letter combinations effectively and use traditional orthography,

7)      inability to define and initiate age‑appropriate topics,

8)      limited in access to  opportunities due to limitations in oral and/or written communication.

In conclusion, Firstname’s present communication strategies are not sufficient to meet the communication demands generated by activities of daily living and medical care, or to address the above identified functional limitations.  This could result in frustration, depression, learned helplessness, aggressive behaviors and/or limited interaction with others.      

 

GENERAL NEEDS ASSESSMENT

The Beukelman and Mirenda Needs Assessment Form (1998) was modified for use with individuals in school and sheltered work settings.  Following is a summary of needs identified by the team for a voice output augmentative communication device for Firstname.

 

PositioningWhere will the user be positioned when using the device?

Firstname is fully ambulatory and needs to use a communication system while in various positions in all of his environments throughout the day.

Firstname is ambulatory but unsteady, and will need a device that is highly portable or one that can be used with an alternative carrying or transport system such as      .

Firstname needs to use a communication system while seated in his       wheelchair  a laptray, when positioned at a table without a laptray, and when positioned on the floor, in bed, or in alternative positioning equipment.  The communication system  need to be mounted to the wheelchair.

Communication PartnersWho will the user talk to?

Firstname has a wide range of communication partners, including family members, school staff, therapists and peers.  He needs to be able to communicate with someone who may not read such as peers, with someone having no familiarity with the system, with someone who may have limited time or patience, with several people at a time, with someone who has poor vision, and with someone who is hearing impaired.

LocationsWhere will the user need to communicate?

Firstname’s range of location needs include multiple rooms in the same building, with someone across the room or in another room, moving from place to place within a building, at a desk or computer terminal, noisy environments such as the school cafeteria, when traveling in a car or van, and community locations such as restaurants.

 

Message NeedsWhat will the user need to say?

Firstname will use the device to express a full range of messages, including:

 greetings,

 calling attention,

 signaling emergencies,

 providing unique information,

 making requests,

 expressing emotions,

 giving opinions, and

 conveying basic medical needs. 

All messages will need to be prepared in advance, such as communicating what he did at home or school.

 In the future he may also be able to generate novel, unique messages.

Firstname will require a communication system which provides a strong prestored picture based language system to support his language skills and to further develop his language and communication skills.

 

Modality of CommunicationHow will communication partner receive the messages?

The mandatory need is to prepare auditory messages. 

 

Additional Needs

 Completing prepared worksheets,

 talking on the phone,

 switching modalities (spelling versus symbol messages) during a conversation,  accessing environmental controls,

 interfacing with a computer are current/ future needs.

 

 

REQUIRED/DESIRED FEATURES IN A DEVICE

The necessary or desirable components for a communication system were discussed throughout the evaluation.  Listed below are key features related to device selection for Firstname.

Selection Techniques

  • Overlay using up to       message cells
  •       location keyguard
  • Direct selection
  • Portable Head Mouse/infrared pointer
  • Scanning using       sized target cells in a      location format.
  • Scanning using  switches
  • Scanning using
  • Scanning using  
  • Auditory scanning
  • Visual scanning
  • Predictive scanning (skips blank keys)
  • Adjustments for slow scanning speeds
  • Remote switch jacks

 

Displaying, Organizing, and Storing Vocabulary

  • Open vocabulary
  • Photographs,
  • Line drawings with text
  • Multimeaning icons
  • Letters
  • Words
  • Color-coding different symbols on one page
  • Color-coding background around symbol
  • One level of vocabulary to see if he is interested/motivated in using a voice output system
  • The use of levels and activity‑based communication displays with vocabulary specific to Firstname’s schedule at home and at school
  • Pre‑programmed messages to provide for quick set‑ups between environments
  • Dynamic display with large amounts of vocabulary storage
  • Text to speech
  • Word/symbol prediction capabilities
  • Abbreviation expansion
  • Instant phrases
  • Sticky keys

System Output: 

  • Digitized speech output
  • High quality synthetic speech with age and gender appropriate voice
  • Liquid crystal display (i.e., text display)
  • Printed output
  • Strip printer
  • Full page printer
  • Cables to interface with a computer
  • Access to environmental controls
  • Infrared controls
  • Control of battery operated appliances/toys
  • Keyboard emulation on a computer

Special Considerations: 

  • Appearance
  • Cost
  • Repair/service
  • Technical complexity
  • Accessibility/placement of controls
  • Volume control
  • Durability
  • User programmability
  • Lock‑out features

DEVICES CONSIDERED / EQUIPMENT TRIALS

Firstname  the evaluators with

Place Evaluation Narrative Here – what did you do, what did the client do, what devices did you try, how were the devices set up, why did you not use light tech devices, why did you not use text to speech, this is the place to prove your case for a specific communication device! Without this information funding for you equipment may not happen!!!

A number of switches were used to determine the best access method and switch site for Firstname.  The switches were attached to the devices below, and to toys such as the       to evaluate his motor skills.  The       switch was positioned at his       using the        switch mount.

The BIGmack (Ablenet) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech output for single messages and a single switch jack for control of battery activated toys.  It was determined that      

The Rocking Say It Play It (Enabling Devices) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech and two large message cells.  This device can also be used to control two switch adapted battery devices. It was determined that      

The Cheap Talk  Communicator  (Enabling Devices) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech,  two-inch message cells and an open single level/six levels of vocabulary storage.  Firstname  benefit from the remote switch options for single switch message activation.  Portability  be a concern with this device.   It was determined that      

The Cheap Talk 8 / -Level Communicator  Direct/Jacks/Scan (Enabling Devices) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech, 4/8 two-inch message cells and an open  levels of vocabulary storage.  Firstname  benefit from the remote switch options for single switch message activation.  Portability  be a concern with this device.   It was determined that      

The Partner  (Mayer Johnson) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech,  two-inch message cells and an open single level of vocabulary storage.  Firstname  not benefit from the remote switch options for single switch message activation.  Portability  be a concern with this device. It was determined that      

The Voice Pal Max (Adaptivation Inc.) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech, variability in cell size and number (2, 4, 10), 10 remote switch jacks, auditory scanning options, single level of vocabulary storage, memory capacity,  and high portability (weight = 1.5 pounds). Firstname will/will not benefit from the unique Taction Pad feature offered by this device.  These transparent pads are extremely touch sensitive and have a self‑adhesive backing which can be affixed to a variety of surfaces including concrete objects which allow the object to function as a switch for the user.  The Voice Pal Max also has limited environmental control unit capabilities for control of battery operated devices.   It was determined that      

The ChatBox (Saltillo Corporation) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech, 16 one-inch message cells using Unity semantic compaction stored under a single icon or under a sequence of two icons, the quick learning feature of icon prediction lights, and is highly portable (weight=       ).  It was determined that      

The Tech/TALK (AMDi) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech output, 8 two-inch sized message cells,  levels for vocabulary storage, high portability (weight=2 pounds) and uses 4 AA alkaline batteries.  This device is very simple to program.  It was determined that      

The Tech/Speak   (AMDi) has       of the        features identified, including: digitized speech output, 32 one-inch sized message cells,  levels of vocabulary storage, high portability (weight=2 pounds) and uses 4 AA alkaline batteries.  This device is very simple to program.  It was determined that      

The SuperTalker has       of the       features identified including 16 minutes of memory, 8 Levels/ 8 Overlays, selectable 1, 2, 4 and 8 grid formats, keyguard for 1, 2, 4 & 8 grids, sequential message access across all locations, 8 input jacks for single-switch access of specific location, 2 Toy/Appliance Jacks, volume control with lockout, keyguard storage,  mounting capability, and uses 4 AA batteries. It was determined that      

The Mini Message Mate  with levels (Words +) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech, variability in /adequate number and size of cells (2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 20, 40),/ 32 message cells and 4 levels of vocabulary storage/ eight remote switch jacks, multiple scanning options, and is highly portable ( weight = 1 lb., 1.5 lbs., 1.75 lbs.).  It utilizes a single level of vocabulary storage.  It was      determined that

The Macaw 3+ (Zygo) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech, variability in cell size and number (2,4,8,16,32), 19 minutes of recording time to store vocabulary using levels, multiple scanning options, and high portability (weight is under 2.5 lbs.).  It was determined that      

The Green Macaw +2 (Zygo) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech, variability in cell size and number (2-128), 38 minutes of recording time to store vocabulary using levels and it is highly portable (weight=2.25 lbs.).  It was determined that the features of this device      

The SideKick (Prentke-Romich) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech, 24 five-eighth inch message cells with 4 levels for vocabulary storage. It uses semantic compaction to organize core vocabulary on a fixed display with icon prediction. It can also be used with supplemental activity overlays on the other levels.  It has a keyguard and is extremely small and highly portable.  It was determined that this      

The MinMo (DynaVox Systems) has       of the        features identified, including: digitized speech, variability in cell size and number (2 to 20), 30 minutes of recording time to store vocabulary, and dynamic screen displays.  Other features include multiple access methods, high portability (weight = 1.8 lbs), battery life of 12 hours, back-up software and built in infrared ECU.  It was determined that      

The MightyMo (DynaVox Systems) has       of the       features identified, including: digitized speech, variability in cell size and number (2 to 20), 30 minutes of recording time to store vocabulary, and dynamic screen displays.  Other features include multiple access methods, battery life of 12 hours, back-up software and built in infrared ECU.  It was determined that      

The e-talk (color version) (The Great Talking Box Company) has       of the       features identified, including: high quality synthesized speech, limited digitized speech capability, colored dynamic screen displays, Mayer-Johnson Picture Communication Symbols, text-to-speech capabilities and high portability (3.4 lbs).  It was determined that      

The Springboard (Prentke Romich Company) has       of the       features identified. Features of the Springboard include: digitized speech output, 50 minutes of digitized speech capability, display configuration from 4-32, optional keyguards, a 7.5 inch (diagonal) color active matrix touch screen, multiple access options, Minspeak symbols with the option of PCS symbols, the ability to teach Minspeak® symbols for future language development, flexibility of core vocabulary, dynamic activities and pages, and high portability (about 3 lbs.). It was determined that      

The Pathfinder (Prentke Romich Company) has       of the       features identified, including: high quality synthesized speech output, limited digitized speech output, 128 message cells, semantic compaction (multimeaning icons) for vocabulary storage, icon prediction lights for memory of icon sequences, icon tutor for teaching new icon sequences, word prediction and a touch screen with a dynamic activity row of symbols.  Portability of this device (weighing 4 lbs.) could be accomplished through the use of a shoulder strap and Cordivinying case.  The notebook/journal function makes it possible to write and save letters or papers, create shopping lists or do homework. A text editor function allows the user to add, delete, search, move and/or replace text. Added functions include calculator and clock, plus a computer emulation mode allows the Pathfinder to imitate a computer keyboard.  It was determined that      

The Vanguard (Prentke Romich Company) has       of the       features identified, including: high quality synthesized speech, 15 minutes of digitized speech memory, limited variability in cell size and number (4,- 8-, or 45- location), 12.1 inch (diagonal) color active matrix touch screen, multiple access options, the ability to express novel information using a combination of single word icons and multi-meaning icons with Unity™ Enhanced Minspeak® sequences software. It weighs 9 pounds with one battery and 11 pounds with two batteries. The highest form of the Unity vocabulary on this device has approximately 2000 words, phrases or sentences.  It was determined that the features of this device      

The Vantage (Prentke Romich Company) has       of the       features identified, including: high quality synthesized speech output, 12 minutes of digitized speech capability, limited variability in display configuration (4-, 8-, 15-, 45- location), a 8.5 inch (diagonal) color active matrix touch screen, multiple access options, the ability to express novel information using the Unity™ Enhanced Minspeak® sequences software or MinTalk™ vocabulary, pre-stored activities,  text-to-speech, word prediction and high portability (weight=3 lbs. 3 oz.).  It was determined that the features of this device      

The MT4 (DynaVox Systems) has       of the       features identified, including: high quality synthesized speech, limited digitized speech capability, dynamic screen displays, multiple access methods, and an optional integrated environmental control unit.  The colored display makes the symbols more salient and offers flexibility for highlighting parts of speech in order to help Firstname produce sentences with appropriate syntax.  Additional features include long battery life, text‑to‑speech capabilities, animated verbs, ability to interface with computers and infrared controls, and an word/symbol prediction program.  Firstname will/will not be able to transport the device (weighing about 6 lbs./ 3 lbs.) using      . It was determined that      

The DV4 (DynaVox Systems) has       of the       features identified, including: high quality synthesized speech, limited digitized speech capability, dynamic screen displays, multiple access methods, and an optional integrated environmental control unit.  The colored display makes the symbols more salient and offers flexibility for highlighting parts of speech in order to help Firstname produce sentences with appropriate syntax.  Additional features include long battery life, text‑to‑speech capabilities, animated verbs, ability to interface with computers and infrared controls, and an word/symbol prediction program.  Firstname will/will not be able to transport the device (weighing about 6 lbs./ 3 lbs.) using      . It was determined that      

Gateway 54/Gateway to Language and Learning/Gateway Junior application program for the DynaVox 3100 (gateway 54-has a core vocabulary of 800 words and with use of word endings and tense markers over 1,000 words can be formed) (Gateway jr.-Version 2 for adolescents or adults is a series of 30-location displays that organize language into categories and utilizes the syntactic areas of nouns, verbs and adjectives to construct sentences) provides a vocabulary structure with strong linguistic rules for designing pages.  Without the structure of Gateway, multiple programmers may randomly link pre-programmed phrases and sentences in unique and therefore linguistically challenging ways.  Purchasing the software reduces the number of hours needed to set up and program the device.  Using this vocabulary, the user has an opportunity to grow with language and learn to combine single words in meaningful ways in order to make novel sentences and best communicate his/his own ideas.

The Mercury (Assistive Technology, Inc.) is a full-featured Macintosh® computer with a 12-inch color active matrix touch screen, a built-in CD-ROM drive and pre-loaded software. As a voice output communication device using Speaking Dynamically Pro™ (Mayer-Johnson) as well as Communication Solution Options software with pre-stored activity displays and MacintTalk™ Pro voices, it has       of the       features identified, including: high quality synthesized speech, limited digitized speech, dynamic screen displays with multiple access options, text-to-speech capabilities and a battery life of up to 4 hours of continuous use. This device weighs 6.6 pounds.  The Gemini comes with a USB microphone, a USB keyboard, a USB mouse and a AC power adapter. Bundles of hardware and software are available that would include items such as a table-top stand, USB floppy disk drive, a USB 3-port Hub, USB zip drive, wheelchair mounts, etc. It was determined that the features of this device      

The Lightwriter (Zygo) has       of the       features identified, including: high quality synthetic speech output, standard QWERTY or alphabetical keyboard layout, text‑to‑speech message generation and portability (weight = 1 lb., 12 oz).  It also offers a dual‑sided LCD or fluorescent vacuum display for face‑to‑face communication.  Firstname will/will not benefit from the abbreviation/expansion vocabulary storage features and word prediction capabilities offered by this device.  It was determined that      

Speaking Dynamically Pro / Speaking Dynamically Windows Version (Mayer‑Johnson) software on a Macintosh/IBM laptop computer has       of the       features identified, including: high quality synthesized speech, limited digitized speech, open vocabulary using dynamic screens, text‑to‑speech capabilities, color availability, word prediction, abbreviation expansion, multiple access methods and age‑appropriate appearance. Since it is a computer‑based system, the computer can also be used to operate other software.  It was determined that      

 

The Freedom 2000 (Words+) is an IBM laptop computer which functions as a voice output augmentative communication device using EZ Keys for Windows and Talking Screen Software.  It has       of the       features identified, including: high quality synthesized speech, limited digitized speech, colored dynamic screens using Mayer-Johnson Picture Communication Symbols, multiple access options, text-to-speech, word prediction, abbreviation expansion and environmental control availability. It was determined that      

The Link (Assistive Technology Inc.) has       of the       features identified, including: high quality text‑to‑speech synthesized output, adequate cell size and sensitivity, standard keyboard layout, ability to interface with IBM/PC or Macintosh computers, and memory for storage of up to 8 files or 64 pages of text.  Firstname would also benefit from sticky keys functions and abbreviation expansion options.  Firstname would/ would not be able to transport the device due to its weight of 2 pounds.   It was determined that      

A discussion was held with those present regarding Firstname’s present communication needs and features of a voice output communication device which would best meet those needs and allow for some room for growth.  Communicative intent was demonstrated by his ability to make requests or comments with various devices during the evaluation. 

Firstname used the devices interactively throughout the assessment process.

Although Firstname demonstrated little communicative intent using the voice output devices during today’s evaluation, information provided by the school team and parents supports the recommendation for an entry‑level device with an intensive training period. 

 

It is recommended that Firstname use      

 

SUMMARY

Firstname’s skills were assessed in the familiar context of the classroom/ classroom/ day program using familiar and novel activities with voice output communication devices.  The following equipment items meet acceptable standards for AAC intervention and are the most appropriate, least expensive solution able to completely address Firstname’s needs and system features requirements as identified in this report:

(specific list of devices and components with ordering information)

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the results of this evaluation it is recommended that:

Firstname should use a       to supplement his existing language abilities.

(BACK-UP SOFTWARE/CABLES)

(MOUNTING/SWITCH/POSITIONING RECOMMENDATIONS)

The family should receive the Mayer‑Johnson Picture Communication Symbol Combination Book or have access to Boardmaker software to make displays for the device (available from Mayer Johnson ‑‑ (619) 550‑0084).  Family and school personnel should collaborate on creation of displays.

The family and school personnel should receive an initial training session from the local Prentke Romich Company/ DynaVox Systems/ Zygo representative (Judy Meyer  ‑‑ 602-264‑4942, on-line support is also available via the internet at www.prentrom.com, Lee Gerbi – 480-314-9863, Cindy Spitler – 480-858‑0587).

The family and school personnel should receive a minimum of       hours of training consisting of strategies for effective device use and vocabulary display development.  This training should be provided by a DDD approved Speech‑Language Pathologist familiar with augmentative communication.

Firstname should receive an initial/minimum of       hours of speech/language therapy to learn how to use the device for functional, interactive communication.  This training should be provided by a DDD approved Speech‑Language Pathologist familiar with augmentative communication.

Firstname should receive an initial/minimum of       hours of occupational therapy services consisting of strategies for effective device access.  This training should be provided by a DDD approved Occupational Therapist familiar with augmentative communication.

The vocabulary on the device should be recorded by an age and gender appropriate voice or one that is motivating to Firstname.

The messages on the devices should be messages which Firstname is not able to sign/say or otherwise effectively communicate in all situations.

Customized displays should be developed which would be specific to the various activities which Firstname may participate (i.e., book reading, art, cooking, etc.) to give his maximum opportunities to communicate during such activities.

Core vocabulary for basic wants and needs should be accessible on each display.

The symbols should be arranged syntactically across the display in which comments, questions, and pronouns are in the first column, followed by verbs, descriptors, prepositions, and nouns.  This will allow for easy access when sequencing symbols and will encourage development of sentence structure (syntax).

The symbols should be background‑enhanced using either Mayer‑Johnson or the Goossens’ and Crain color‑coding systems.

“Light tech” symbol displays should be used for activities where use of the device is not feasible (i.e., washing hands, swimming, etc.) or to accompany device use (i.e., generic art display on device with supplemental symbols such as colors and/or materials in light tech version, or vice versa).

When some of the same vocabulary is used across the various displays developed, the location should be the same place on each display.  For example, if “more” and “finished” are on each display, they should be located on the same message cell of each display to allow for consistency.

In addition to customized displays, Firstname would also benefit from use of pre‑made displays.  Pre‑made displays can be purchased from Southeast Augmentative Communication Publications, 2430 11th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL  35234.  (Communication Displays for Engineered Preschool Environments, Books I and II; Communication Overlays for Engineering Training Environments, Books I ‑ IV).  These displays can be used to provide consistent display of vocabulary across activities and environments, following the instructions in the book: Engineering the Preschool Environments for Interactive, Symbolic Communication  /  Engineering Training Environments for Interactive Augmentative Communication (also available from Southeast Augmentative Communication).  The displays can also be easily modified for individual use by adding supplemental symbols or changing a few symbols on the display. 

It is recommended that the school purchase BUILLD for Unity 128/32 (Bringing Unity into Language and Learning Development) from Prentke Romich Company (800) 262-1984.  BUILLD is a collection of training materials that is designed to help teach the Unity vocabulary, using motivating, functional activities.  The kit includes a curriculum guide, customized vocabulary sort, enlarged overlay and icons, and overlay masks.

It is recommended that the family/school team utilized PASS for the Vantage/Vanguard. This software which can be downloaded at no cost from www.prentrom.com allows the family/school to develop therapy materials/pictures to engineer environments/pictures to engineer books to allow Firstname to have multiple opportunities to practice vocabulary on the Vantage/Vanguard.

Novel vocabulary should be limited at first to allow Firstname to become familiar with the      software.

When novel vocabulary is added, consider storing in themes and using the icon dictionary in the       manual to ensure that new messages conform with prestored vocabulary.

Use “cheat sheets” which can be attached to the device with velcro to help communication partners learn icon sequences in order to provide a good model.

Prior to actual receipt of the device, Firstname’s family and school staff should begin to develop activity specific vocabulary lists in preparation for display construction.  First, make a daily schedule of Firstname’s activities such as mealtimes, morning and evening routines, favorite toys and past times (Legos, basketball, dolls, etc.).  Second, keep a written record of when communication breakdowns occur.  Then brainstorm messages that could be used to provide clarification, and enhance participation in the activity by offering vocabulary for choice‑making, comments, questions, etc.  Listening to typical children engaged in these activities may serve as a model for age‑appropriate vocabulary.  If possible, Firstname should be involved in the vocabulary selection process.

The family is encouraged to attend the Assistive Technology Interest Group at IHDATC.  This is a group of professionals and parents involved with children and adults who use augmentative communication and assistive technology.  The group meets monthly in the evening.  Announcements and flyers regarding various trainings and workshops are also provided.  Contact Cheryl Belitsky (928-523-4628) to receive more information and to be placed on the mailing list.

GOALS

The following goals are suggested; however, those working with Firstname should not feel limited to include the following:

When Firstname arrives at school in the mornings he will greet both peers and adults using the       with minimal prompts and cues.

Firstname will effectively communicate information regarding his health at home, in school, at the day program or with health care professionals.

Firstname will independently activate appropriate message cells to participate in ADLs at school, home, work, day program (such as asking for items to complete a task, commenting on the task, directing others, etc.).

Firstname will demonstrate a decrease in inappropriate behaviors, as a result of independence in communication.

Firstname will carry the device between his various environments and work stations/classrooms independently with minimal prompts and cues.

During specific activities, Firstname will independently activate appropriate cells to participate in the activity (such as asking for items to complete a task, commenting on the task, directing others, etc.).

When role‑playing activities that involve community signs and symbols or instances when he would need to identify himself/herself to others, Firstname will activate appropriate vocabulary on the device with minimal assistance.

Firstname will sequence two symbols to activate a phrase or sentence during structured activities when provided with appropriate overlays.

Firstname will activate appropriate cells to express social conversation starters such as “What did you do this weekend?” or “How are you doing?” after he initiates or responds to a greeting.

Firstname will take at least two conversational turns during any chosen activity when provided with an appropriate display.

Firstname will look at the device when its use is modeled.

Firstname will consistently activate a cell when presented with       choices.

Firstname will consistently activate a favorite choice when given a choice that he likes and one that he knowingly dislikes.

Firstname will demonstrate understanding of the names of the icons.

Firstname will demonstrate the ability to change themes two or three times during one therapy session.

Firstname will demonstrate understanding of a semantic concept by independently finding sequences for       similar ideas when given an explanation and       examples.

Firstname will follow icon prediction lights to practice semantic themes independently.

Firstname will chain       to       icons to repeat a message.

Firstname will take at least three conversational turns using the DeltaTalker / Liberator in a specific theme, rather than using a questioning format.

Firstname will use word prediction and appropriate editing functions to compose novel messages.

Firstname will demonstrate understanding of the function keys on the device, such as the message bar/”speak,” “clear,” “go back,” etc.

Firstname will respond to visual and/or auditory feedback to self-correct errors      % of the time.

Firstname will answer and make telephone calls using the device.

Firstname will meet written communication demands appropriate for his chronological age and cognitive ability.

Firstname will identify and program at least       abbreviations for frequently used phrases.

Firstname will use the device to answer questions regarding daily/weekend activities.

Firstname will take three conversational turns on a given topic.

On community outings, Firstname will use the device to make or clarify requests and/or repair communication breakdowns.

Firstname will demonstrate an understanding of when to use various modes of communication (e.g., communication device, manual displays, sign language).

Firstname will demonstrate mastery of at least three communication strategies to repair communication breakdowns.

Firstname will outline and program key phrases for interactive telephone communications for a variety of situations:  contacting his DDD Support Coordinator, scheduling appointments, conveying emergency information, ordering food for delivery, talking with friends.

Firstname will use abbreviation expansion and word prediction for completing written assignments with at least a      % reduction in keystrokes compared to letter by letter typing.

Firstname will read text at his reading level using the recommended communication device.

Firstname will create daily journal entries using the notebook feature of the recommended device.

Firstname will complete computer documents and activities using the AAC Keys feature of the recommended device which allows the device to be connected to the computer and provide text and keyboard functions to be entered to the computer through the standard pictures on the recommended device.

It was a pleasure working with Firstname, his family and the staff at      . If you have any questions regarding this evaluation, please feel free to contact us at (     )      –     .

____________________________________

Speech‑Language Pathologist

Assistive Technology Specialist

___________________________________

Occupational Therapist

Assistive Technology Specialist

___________________________________

Speech-Language Pathologist

Assistive Technology Specialist

_____________________________

Speech‑Language Pathologist

Assistive Technology Specialist

______________________________

Physical Therapist

Assistive Technology Specialist

__________________________________

Occupational Therapist

Assistive Technology Specialist

cc:

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