I wanted to compile a list of other web resources for families who might be seeking information about AAC use with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Websites and Blogs by AAC Professionals:
Early Intervention for Young Children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, and Other Disabilities by Janice Light- This is an amazing resource that family-friendly explanations of how to use AAC with very young children. It also features many videos of infants and toddlers with significant disabilities using AAC in real-life functional contexts such as participating in songs, reading with parents, and playing peekaboo. This is a completed web resource rather than a blog; it is not updated regularly.
PrAACtical AAC by Carole Zangari- PrAACtical AAC is an absolutely amazing blog that covers AAC use across the lifespan, but primarily focuses on children. I would say that the bulk of the posts pertain to school-age children, but there are definitely over 100 posts, videos, etc. that discuss AAC use with infants and toddlers as well. The blog allows you to search by tag; search tags, “Early Intervention,” “infants,” “toddlers,” and “preschool” all bring up many posts that are relevant to this age group. There are new posts several times per week as well as weekly summary posts and videos.
There are many, many other blogs by professionals that have tons of great information about AAC, but I wanted to highlight those two to start, as they very consistently have excellent information that is relevant to this age group. I also find them to be relatively easily to navigate and accessible to parents. Janice Light and Carole Zangari are also both leading researchers within the AAC field.
Blogs by Parents of Children who Use AAC:
Uncommon Sense by Dana Nieder- This blog tells the story of a child with an undiagnosed (until this month) rare genetic disorder and her journey with AAC. Dana Nieder began her interest in AAC because of her daughter, and has since also started grad school for speech-language pathology. Her daughter, Maya, uses Speak for Yourself on the iPad as her primary form of AAC.
Star in Her Eye by Heather Kim Lanier- This blog is written by the mother of a little girl, Fiona, with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome. Fiona also uses Speak for Yourself on the iPad to communicate.
Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords by Rob Rummel-Hudson- Rob Rummel-Hudson is the father of a teenage girl with bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria named Schuyler. In addition to running a blog about his daughter’s life and experiences, he also wrote a novel about Schuyler’s life called Schuyler’s Monster (St. Martin’s Press, 2009). Schuyler uses a dedicated communication device made my Prentke-Romich Company to communicate.
We Speak PODD by Karen Owens- This is actually a Facebook page rather than a blog, but Karen posts several times per week with updates on her children’s communication journeys. Karen has adopted four children with severe disabilities who all use PODD (Pragmatically Organized Dynamic Display) communication books and/ or apps (depending on the child) to communicate. She regularly posts videos, photos, and descriptions of AAC use by the whole family in real life daily contexts.
Assistiveware, the company that makes the Proloquo2Go communication app as well as additional assistive technology software, posted a list of additional family-run blogs featuring AAC on their website here: 5 Fantastic Family AAC Blogs.
Websites from AAC Device Manufacturers and App Developers:
Although sometimes developers/ manufacturer websites can be biased towards their own products, there are many that provide excellent information.
Tobii-Dynavox Implementation Toolkit- Tobii-Dynavox is one of the biggest manufacturers of dedicated AAC devices and has also designed several AAC apps. The Tobii-Dynavox website includes their Implementation Toolkit, which has some information that is specific to operation of Tobii-Dynavox devices, but also has a variety of general introductory AAC information. I would recommend going to the “Learning Paths” section (included in the link above) and looking into the AAC 101 and AAC Myths Revealed sections if you are new to AAC. There are also some helpful handouts in the Tools for AAC Users section, and there’s a specific section on AAC and Autism that provides summaries of relevant research and some implementation ideas.
AAC Language Lab by Prentke-Romich Company (PRC)- . PRC is another one of the largest/ most well known AAC device manufacturers. Their “AAC Language Lab” includes separate pages for speech-language pathologists, parents, and educators as well as a blog page. Some information is free, while there are other sections that can only be accessed via a paid ($84) annual subscription. Within the AAC Language Lab free resources section, the “Getting Started with AAC” and “Choosing an AAC Device for Your Child” documents have some helpful introductory information for parents.
There are many, many more resources: I will continue to update this over time. Just wanted to get a partial list out there to start! 🙂