Santos is a kindhearted 3-year-old who loves watching Wall-E and Bluey. He also enjoys playing outside and is obsessed with transportation vehicles, specifically garbage and recycle trucks. Prior to beginning speech therapy with Therapy 2000 Santos had difficulty getting his wants and needs met using traditional modes of communication and this significantly impacted his safety and participation in activities of daily living (ADLs).
His mother reported that he only communicated his wants and needs by pointing and using vowel sounds and/or screaming. She also reported that she was able to understand him; however, others could not. In previous therapy sessions with another agency Santos did not enjoy language therapy centered around verbal communication and was beginning to become more frustrated around communication attempts. Previous attempts at use of sign language and a picture exchange system (PECS) were reportedly not successful.
Santos’ plan of care was updated to reflect goals around using Augmentative Alternative Communication or AAC to communicate his wants and needs, increase his mean length of utterance by combining icons, and gaining attention of his caregivers by initiating an interaction via AAC. Santos immediately grasped using the application that his mother downloaded on an iPad for AAC use.
Since introducing AAC he has begun to communicate in longer phrases with caregivers as well as using his device in school to communicate with teachers and peers. He initiates interactions with others through use of language and decreased his frustration when trying to communicate his needs. His mother reported that he was also able to use the device at school when being tested for enrollment to show just how much he does know such as shapes, colors, and numbers! Currently Santos is seen twice a week; however, it is projected that his frequency will decrease soon due to his rate of progress and caregiver participation of the home exercise program.