October is definitely one of my favorite months. It’s spooky candy time, the weather gets a little less awful, and it’s an awareness month for a few different things: dysautonomia, disability employment, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)!
I’ve done a post on Dysautonomia Awareness Month before, but I hadn’t done one for AAC Awareness Month yet. So… here we go!
October is AAC Awareness Month!
AAC is essentially all forms of communication that do not involve speech. Augmentative and Alternative Communication methods are important for many autistic people – as well as people with other conditions such as apraxia, traumatic brain injury, stroke, ALS, cerebral palsy, and much more.
I actually spent my entire summer researching the use of AAC – specifically for autistic adults that are considered “speaking”.
I learned over the summer just how important AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) actually is to me – and just how much mental/physical effort it takes for me to use verbal speech. After one of my former speech therapists suggested I use AAC on my tablet, I’ve been trying to use it more often.
Even though I can speak sometimes, it takes a lot of energy, anxiety, and stress to do it. I didn’t realize just how much until this summer, where I’d been researching all about AAC and also using it more instead of relying on verbal speech alone. Using AAC has actually reduced my meltdowns and allowed me to be far more social than I’ve been before.
And after my most recent (fourth) brain injury in August, there’s been a lot more times where I’m completely incapable of speech after a certain point. I haven’t quite healed yet, so I’m very thankful that I was already familiar with AAC.
I use a mixture of low-tech AAC and apps on my tablet to communicate. Proloquo4Text is now my primary text-based AAC, although I used SpeechAssistant AAC extensively over the summer. I also have a couple of picture-based apps for when my brain is overwhelmed and I can’t do written words (I’m still trying to figure out if I like Snap + Core First or Proloquo2Go more). The picture-based apps are used a lot more often than you’d think, especially post brain injury.
I also have an AAC binder with a letter board, some core boards from my Snap + Core First pages, and also a laminated page for dry erase.
If you’re interested in AAC, a lot of AAC apps and methods are on sale this October!
Here’s a handy list for those who might need it. I originally posted this on Facebook prior to October, but it took me forever to make this post on here due to taking regular brain breaks from the computer screen. I’ll update as I find more AAC deals, although it’s a bit late in the month.
If I’ve typed something incorrect in making the list, let me know. My brain is still a little all over the place due to the mild TBI, so I added links just in case.
(Remember that AAC is very personal and individual; there is no “only type” that fits everyone. AAC also does not have to be high-tech. Using sign language, communication/letter boards, dry erase boards, and low/no tech options are also valid too – as well as using a mix of methods!)
50% off regular price; October 1st – 5th
A lifetime access account for $100 (regularly $200 for lifetime access). CoughDrop also has a free trial and a monthly cost option of about $6.
15% off regular price; October 7th – October 31st
– Snap + Core First (regularly $49.99; there is also a free trial version that does not have voice)
– Communicator 5 (regularly $699.00)
50% off regular price; October 10th – 14th
– TouchChat with Wordpower (regularly $299.99)
– LAMP Words for Life (regularly $299.99)
Speak for Yourself:
50% off regular price; October 11th – 16th
– Speak For Yourself AAC (regularly $299.99)
Percentage varies; October 14th – 16th
– Choiceworks App (sale price $3.99; regularly $6.99)
– Choiceworks Calendar (sale price $2.99; regularly $4.99)
– Choiceworks Bundle (sale price $5.99; regularly $9.99)
50% off regular price; October 14th – 16th
Apps Available –
– Proloquo2Go (regularly $249.99)
– Proloquo4Text (regularly $119.99)
– Keeble (regularly $24.99)
– Pictello (regularly $19.99)
Lower (ish) cost options that may or may not be having deals this month:
– Speech Assistant AAC (currently $11.99 on iOS; possibly free on Android?)
– Emergency Chat (free!)
– Verbally (free version; premium app is $99)
– LetMeTalk (free!)
– FlipWriter (Pocket for iPhone version is $24.99; full iPad version is $49.99)
– I Can Communicate! (free on Android only)
– GoTalk WOW (only for Apple Watch; $49.99)