Communication devices

Melissa - posted on 03/23/2011 ( 21 moms have responded )

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We just had our 6mo check up at Shriner's yesterday and they said that they think Taryn would benefit from something like the Vantage Lite communicative device. Do any of you use anything like this? Does anyone know of any places that donate used devices or sell lower priced used ones? I checked out the website today and they are $7500!!! We just got approved for the ID Waiver in our state that will also put her on state insurance and pretty much pay for what she needs. However, we haven't had her services conference yet so I don't know what all is covered or how much money wise we're talking.
Any leads or connections that you'd like to share would be greatly appreciated!!
Thanks!
Melissa

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Jennifer - posted on 08/11/2011

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I have a 2 1/2 year old with Down syndrome and we are looking into an AAC device for her. Her cognitive skills are strong although it is believed she has apraxia and is really struggling with speech. My speech therapist recommended the dynaVox instead of the iPad. She said that my daughter will need it for a longer amount of time and can grow into it. I have an iPad for myself and she can manipulate very well. Can you give me specific reasons many of you are transitioning to the iPad? My slp also said much more research has been done on the dynaVox as to how the information is laid out. I'm so confused! Still in the beginning of working with our insurance to see if it's covered. Even if it is, we still have a $2000 deductible and then they would cover 80%. Also, does you child have anything else on the iPad besides the AAC device? I'm afraid she would close out and start playing Angry Birds all the time. :)

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Jessica - posted on 11/15/2013

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I am selling my sons dynavox maestro. BRAND NEW never used! My son did not want to use this device because by the time we received it, he wanted to try and talk on his own. Please email me if interested. I am willing to negotiate a reasonable price. Hea08136@gmail.com

Candy - posted on 08/08/2013

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I realized after posting that it could be useful to include my email : )
pcandypappas@aol.com
Please respond if interested in the Vantage Lite posted in my earlier post.

Candy - posted on 08/08/2013

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We have a Vantage Lite that we received for our 9 year old, mostly non-verbal, Autistic son a while back. It is in brand new condition and we have all the extras. This device offers a lot but sensory wise our son just couldn't handle it. We would really like to sell and use the $ to purchase in-home OT equipment and an iPad instead since he has successfully used those at therapy. Please if anyone has use for it we would consider any reasonable offer, since they are $7000+. It would be nice to replace it with something else beneficial to him. Right now it is hidden away in a closet because we know from experience that one look at it will send him into regression. Please let me know if you are interested. Thank you so much for having places like this where family's with autistic children can connect and network. God bless.

Cristina - posted on 06/06/2013

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We are selling our son's dynavox maestro. It is new (used 1 week only). It is an amazing device but my son does not use it anymore. It was $9000 new, If interested, email me at cristina.elias78@yahoo.com

Mars Delos - posted on 05/13/2013

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I have 2 younger kids both with Autism. My youngest used a Dynavox V but has recently transitioned to an iPad3 loaded with TouchChat HD with WordPower. Her speech therapist suggested this over the other AAC apps currently available because it is much similar to her Dynavox V which uses core words. The only reason we transitioned her to an iPad is because of convenience to carry her 'talker' anywhere. The Dynavox V is much heavier to 'lug around' and more often than not, we leave it in the car or at home whenever we go to say a theme park or anyplace that we need to walk around in extended periods - many missed opportunities due to the weight issue of the device. We bought a dedicated iPad for her and we are using a Fintie CaseBot Kiddie series case that helps protect the iPad well plus it has a built in handle/ stand which is very convenient. We are able to lock the unit to just the app (she can't manipulate any buttons on the unit - home, volume, power) with a PIN code but I can still use the other features of the iPad (ex. take photos, surf the web to program new items on her talker) easily by using the same lock/ unlock feature - very convenient overall. She is a heavy iPad user for entertainment but since I made sure that this unit looks very different from the iPad she normally use for games/ entertainment (hence the new Fintie case), she was able to transition smoothly.
We are currently searching for a family in need of a Dynavox V. Our unit is well-maintained, recently updated, all extras included plus includes a new spare battery. I can even help set up transferring ownership so new owner can have all the benefits from Dynavox.

Gina - posted on 03/14/2013

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P.s. I found that the Ipad for my daughter was more of a fun thing even though we do have games that are for learning on it . I would suggest getting something that is specified for communications and not something with other games available on it .

Gina - posted on 03/14/2013

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Your insurance will cover it ! If you have insurance through and employer for your child they will first bill that insurance before they bill your state insurance. My daughter is 11 and she is having troubles with articulation. They will be using this to supplement her throughout the day . The Vantage light has worked wonders for a young man in my daughters class who was non verbal and he is now voicing his requests and using the vantage system. I wish you luck with your insurances ! I wish you and your family much luck!

Laura - posted on 10/04/2012

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Check out the ipad with the app called "LAMP, Words for Life".



The app (their language system) is from the company that makes the Vantage Lite, Prentke Romich.



It is $299; but even with a new ipad that adds up to way less than a dedicated speech device!

April - posted on 05/07/2012

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Hi Melissa, my neice has one and it is wonderful. A couple of things.. First do not listen to the people that are saying that insurance companies will not cover this. My niece's insurance did and it is state funded. What you need to do is work with your speech therapist and get good documentation to show the medical need. The folks at PRC are wonderful and will help as well. We had about 3 years of speech therapy notes and she still has a limited vocabulary. Also a lot depends on the type of health diagnosis, my niece has a form of autisim.. But the most important thing is to let see how willing the speech therapist can help you with this..

[deleted account]

We are selling our son's dynavox maestro. It is nearly new. It is an amazing device but just not the one for him. It was $9000 new, we are asking $4500. If interested, email me at skbethke@gmail.com

Cherish - posted on 12/29/2011

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Hi,
My son uses the Vantage light from PRC.The problem w/ the ipad is it is not very sturdy(and brian is NOT gentle w/things...).How old is your child? If he/she is in school,they should do a SWAAC eval.If not then the local childrens hospital should be able to do a aug com eval,if they cant then look for a augmentative communication therapist in your area :)

Monica - posted on 04/05/2011

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My daughter just got a Dynavox Maestro and at times I think it's too complex for her. We have it on a 6 button system and its an amazing device, but kind of feel like we jumped in too fast. Insurance paid for it though. We worked with a communications specialist at Utah State University who helped us through the whole process.

Deborah - posted on 04/05/2011

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My daughter uses the Vantage Lite and we love it. Others are having great luck with the iPad but my daughter can't use it at all. She doesn't have the hand control needed.
Visit my blog if you would like to know more, also my email is listed on the blog if you would like more information. thehenryfamilysince1997.blogspot.com

Shellah - posted on 03/30/2011

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My son has very severe oral, verbal and motor apraxia. He used a Dynavox when he was 4 and learned the concept and at 5 yrs. old we moved onto the IPad and Proloquo2go. The Dynavox was a good stepping stone, but we tried all of their newer models hoping to find one that was light, portable yet user friendly and we hit a brick wall. The Dynavox is not very versatile and it is very limited with its ability to add photos with ease and to input information on the go. With the IPad we are able to add, delete, change anything while on the go and we can do it within seconds. Our school was so impressed by our son's progress after only one month with his IPad at home that they purchased one right away for school use. They are now using the IPad and the wonderful Apps that are out there to teach him everything he needs. He is now putting together 3 word sentences and is able to go to his friends and ask them questions. The other children, typical and special needs, are so impressed and he loves to teach them how to use his IPad. The school now has 5 other children who are also using an IPad for communication!!!
When we go to stores or out to eat he can order for himself or make a choice on his own. It is a very empowering device for such a low cost (compared to other ACC devices). If you do purchase an IPad you do need to buy a very sturdy case that will protect it and not just look good. It does add a minimal amount of weight, but I can tell you from experience that it is worth the extra money! We bring his everywhere we go and it has been dropped a handful of times and still works and looks brand new.
You could check your local hospitals to see if you can try out the IPad and Proloquo2go, we went to Boston and were able to try one and made sure he understood it before we bought one. Boston Children's Hospital told us no insurance companies will cover the cost, but we knew we had to get one and we don't regret making that decision. It may not be right for every child, but it is worth looking into. We spent about 6 months researching and trying about 6 devices before we bought the IPad.
Good luck to you and your family!

Ruth Taisha - posted on 03/30/2011

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Hi, I have a 9 yr old that has CP, Mild Mental Retardation
and a Speech/Lang. Impairment... We use the M3 which
was reccommended by his Child Developmental Specialists.
We were able to put an order for it through the School
Board with help from the Special Education Board and
Pay for it through Medicaid which was approved by the
State for his Disabilities... I didn't have to pay with the
right help.

Kathy - posted on 03/29/2011

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I am trying to get my son an IPAD. I wish i had one when he needed a communication device and none were available. Th Proloquo would have been very useful to us even a year ago. The Ipad/apps also has many other apps that are supper beneficial with these wonderful children of ours that just need a way to show what they know. My son is able to study his reading and math on his own with my Iphone when it takes hours sometimes to do the same work the way they teach it at schooI was told yesterday it is not considered a durable device so our state program will not cover it. There are programs out there to get them to people who need them but i have yet to find how to apply.

[deleted account]

Start with an iPad. It is so much cheaper and you might get a better idea on how well your child will use it and respond to it. There are so many apps available, I think if you search special needs in the apps store you'll find some. You can also check with PACER. They are actually hosting a webinar in May about how to use iPads and iPods and the apps available for kids like ours.

Gayle - posted on 03/29/2011

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My son has been using a Dynavox V, but we will be transitioning to an iPad with the Proloquo2go app soon. The advantage of a dynavox device is that it can be used for the very young, and will "grow" with the child. The disadvantages are the price, and the weight- they are heavy and hard to lug around for a little person. That said, the tech support for Dynavox products is fabulous. Our device came with two years of warrantee and I've been paying for warantee a year at a time since then (500 per year), but it is quite necessary if you are going to give a 7000 machine to a child to use. As far as funding, Dynavox has a department devoted to guiding you through the process of getting funding. My son's device was totally covered through his Medicaid here in Wisconsin. We are choosing to go to the iPad for the reasons of cost, - I would still encourage you to purchase some sort of coverage in case of damage- ease of transport, and right now, he likes it much better than the dynavox device. Depending on where you live, you might be able to get some help with purchasing the iPad, it depends on the programs available. We are getting ours through the Family Support program in Milwaukee County. Hope this helps. The best of luck to you.

Jessica - posted on 03/23/2011

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We use the ipod touch and proloquo2go. The app can also be used on the ipad. My son is not able to use it yet (he doesnt understand the concept) but it has more than 7,000 words and capabilities for unlimited expansion. The best part, the ipod was $250 and the software was $189. It sounds expensive, but the software is comparitive to what dynavox uses.

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