We anticipate their arrival. We wonder what we'll hear first. We assume they'll come...but sometimes? Well, sometimes...they don't. 

Some babies don't start talking. Mine was one of them. As a speech language pathologist, whose job is to help babies communicate, this stung more than you could ever imagine.

I figured the words would come in toddlerhood. We worked and worked, tried and tried again.

They still didn't come.

I hoped they'd come during his preschool years. We worked harder and prayed more.

They still didn't come.

At four, he started using an Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) device. 

This App, LAMP Words for Life by Prentke Romich Company (PRC), gave him access to language. In time, he was able to tell us what he wanted. He used his device to answer questions. 

Communication. That is what I was waiting for. To interact with my son. To connect. To know what he was thinking. For him to have a way to tell me when he was sick or hurt. A way for him to get my attention and tell me things. AAC gave him that. 

Now, at six, he speaks. He has hundreds of words and adds new words everyday. AAC also gave him that too.

I know what research says, but when your child is struggling to communicate, I know that you don't want me to spew research facts in your lap. You want to see facts. Proof that the research isn't just a bunch of scientists in a lab churning out "maybe's" and "hopefully's" to appease the masses of parents who need to know how to help their kids. 

My son is proof that AAC honest-to-goodness DOES promote spoken language. He has used his AAC device for almost three years. Today, he mostly uses the device to clarify if we don't understand his spoken words...or to reiterate requests when he isn't getting what he wants! 

So, if you're on the fence about starting AAC, please do it. It may be exactly what your child needs to realize their true potential. It may be the thing that gives them access to language and relieves their frustrations. 

AAC is NOT less than spoken words - all communication is equal and valid. 

AAC can be life-changing if you just give it a chance. 


  1. Hi Deidra, would you recommend an AAC device on a child that appears to be an emerging verbal communicator? That is how his school's speech therapist described our 3 in a half year old son. He is also a good imitator and uses words spontaneously. He has about 2 dozen words in his vocabulary and were told that an AAC is not needed. They recommended to continue "functional vocabulary, verbally." Thank you

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