LAMP Words For Life vs. Speak For Yourself

 

Many people want to know more about the differences of the LAMP Words For Life app and the Speak For Yourself (SfY) app. Both are AAC applications for iOS that are compatible with iPads. Speak For Yourself (SfY) is also compatible with the iPod/iPhone, which LAMP is not. LAMP is compatible with the Accent products from Prentke Romich Company as well as other dedicated devices (e.g., Talk to Me Technologies) and can be downloaded on their software. These apps essentially turn your iPad into a speech generating device (SGD). It does not alter the software of the iPad- but when downloading these applications you should know that this device is now used for speaking. Many of issues arise when you try to mix entertainment with speaking/communication, but more about that later.

LAMP and SfY are both based on the principals of motor planning. This makes for a strong case when introducing this app to children or adults. I often compare motor planning to how we learn how to...

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I Want an SGD but How Do I Get It?: Funding an AAC Device

Funding devices can be the most intimidating piece of the AAC process. Well, maybe not for everyone, but for me it was a huge obstacle! I see posts on Facebook all the time asking how to get a device, where to get one, how to fund one… And the truth is, it is dependent on your insurance, your location, your available resources, and maybe even your school (if the individual needing AAC is currently attending school).

Here is what I have learned from funding devices this year:

  1. Devices are expensive. If you don’t know this already, the “dedicated” devices can be upward of 5k. Yes, $5,000. Some people can pay out of pocket for these. Some cannot. I don’t know many people that can say they have $5,000 lying around that they won’t miss. So, paying out of pocket for a device is usually out of the question.
  2. Medicaid can be a Godsend. Medicaid will fund SGDs with the proper paperwork in many cases. What medicaid decides to fund and decides to deny is...
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Step-By-Step: How to Start and Finish Funding for a High-Tech SGD

 

This is a process many SLPs need to know if they work with non-speaking clients. Here, I will walk you through funding a high-tech AAC device. This is tried and true (by me!). Going outside of the sequence will create more work for you (believe me, I have been there!). This is the most efficient way I have been able to go through the funding process.

1) AAC questionnaire to parent/client

This step is so important. Find out the insurance the client has and if it covers speech generating devices (you may need to call the insurance company). I also recommend finding out the co-pay (if there is one). You need to know what previous devices the client or student has had, how long they had it, when they received it, and how it was purchased (e.g., private pay or insurance funded). You also need to know the current interest and knowledge the parent or client has of AAC devices.

2) AAC evaluation

Perform an AAC evaluation with a loaned device from a lending library (I use the AT...

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4 Reasons I Love High-Tech AAC

 

High-tech AAC is MY JAM. I just love it. I get 99% of my clients a high-tech device ASAP! Why, you ask? Why do I jump to high-tech when there are low-tech options I could use? Well… since you asked….

  1. High-tech is powerful. It creates a VOICE for that person (that is not mine). It has speech output!! Communication partners can listen to the client for the first time! The reaction of the clients can be downright tear-jerking and/or hilarious to hearing their voice.
  2. High-tech devices are the future. Everything is moving toward  advanced technology these days, and communication is no exception. We are ditching paper and we are moving on to iPads, tablets, computers, and phones. We should consider this when choosing a communication system.
  3. Less stigma. No lie, using a high-tech device like an iPad is “cooler” and less stigmatized than other low-tech mediums. I don’t like that using all types of AAC is stigmatized, but it’s the...
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