Choosing The Right AAC Device For Your Child: A Step-by-Step Guide

Technology now makes it possible for a person to communicate without speaking. Many devices leverage this technology today; however, worth noting is the augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) system. AAC devices have come in handy for speech- or language-impaired children to communicate easily without speaking.

There is hope for effective communication with AAC devices for a child with autism or speech difficulty. This state-of-the-art technology comes in various designs and with different features. And with the availability of numerous brands, choosing the suitable AAC device for your child can only be easy with proper guidance.

Steps to Choose the Right AAC Device

You may be at a crossroads, thinking of the best options for AAC devices for your child.  Take this step-by-step guide to save you stress, energy, and money.

Step 1: Consult an AAC Professional

Choosing the best AAC site for your child may be a tiresome activity. It will take longer and incur more stress if you don’t speak to an AAC professional or licensed speech-language pathologist.  Such a person has the proper AAC certification and experience to help find the best device for your child. They consider three factors with your child’s and family’s interests: language, access, and personal preferences.

  • Language: A professional will help you choose a suitable device with enough language to help your child communicate now and learn as they grow.
  • Access: Your child may be gone with a device that requires just a touch to pick the right words. At the same time, other children may require alternative methods like eye gaze or accessibility switches. A professional will help you choose and set up a suitable device for your child.
  • Personal preference: sometimes, the device may be covered by insurance, so you may involve your child’s health insurance program.

Step 2: Choose An AAC System With The Right Words

This is fundamental, as communication enhancement is the tool’s primary purpose. Before you search for a suitable AAC device for your child, write down the core words you want your child to learn/communicate. This makes it easy to rule out any AAC devices that don’t come with your core words. The right words facilitate proper communication, so you must complete this step.

Step 3: Try a Couple of AAC devices before choosing one

This is a no-brainer, as you must test the devices before investing your money in one AAC device.  This step is essential because it is the stage where you can decide which AAC device fits your family’s needs. There has to be a reasonable level of compatibility before settling for one of the numerous AAC devices on the market. So, you want to take each product on a spin to know which one aligns with your family goals and interests while keeping your child’s care in mind. To be successful in this step, you can ask a few guiding questions to inform your decision.

  • Does the AAC device contain all the words I want my child to access?
  • Is it easy to add new words when the need arises?
  • Can I use this tool daily so my child can learn by observation?
  • Is my child in love with the tool? If not, why?
  • Does the tool catch my fancy? If not, why?

Step 4: Check the Difficulty Level

Essentially, you’re to teach your child how to use an AAC device, like you’ll teach them how to speak. This means you want to go for a device that makes teaching easy. Choose something your child will love and relate to. Here, you consider factors like whether your child uses sign language, touch, or gaze.

Step 5: There’s No One Size Fits All

With the array of AAC devices on the market, it is evident that none is a magic bullet. So, you shouldn’t take the recommendation of a friend or neighbor for the right AAC device for your child. If it works for their child, that’s fine; your child is different. After going through steps one to four, you should also carry your child along in this selection process.

This makes it easier to choose the best AAC device that fits. Then, after selecting the right device, you should make your entire family aware of the device so everyone understands when your child starts communicating.

It is essential to state that your child needs no skill to use an AAC device. AAC systems come in three types-

  • Low-Tech AAC Devices
  • Mid-Tech AAC Devices
  • High-Tech AAC Devices

If you’re wondering where to start or if an AAC device will suit your child, start with the low-tech AAC devices. And your child can gradually move up to the high-tech devices that involve applications. In general, AAC devices are more than a breakthrough for parents who want to help their child communicate better and easily despite obvious speaking challenges.


Communication facilitates bond-building in families, and AAC devices do the magic when a child finds it difficult to speak. Choosing from the array of AAC devices available on the market launches your communication therapy journey. This guide will help you make an informed decision. There’s no better time to choose the suitable AAC device for your child; it’s now!


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