Capable of much more

When we first met Nick three years ago, after years of speech therapy, he had almost no speech. Shortly after he was introduced to Proloquo2Go on an iPad, he learned to use it to ask for preferred activities and request his favorite foods (see video).

Revisiting Nick

Today, Nick's spoken language has improved markedly but he continues to use Proloquo2Go to communicate everyday wants and needs, his favorite people and activities, and his feelings. However, more abstract social language, like asking questions and commenting, is coming along more slowly. This is not unusual for individuals learning to use AAC.

Communication in social situations is challenging for most individuals on the Autism spectrum. Learning how to start, end or continue a conversation takes teaching and practice.
Nick has the ability to use Proloquo2Go to meet his basic needs. But those who love him know he is capable of much more. Like many with autism, Nick continues to need intensive and on-going supports to help him keep building his social communication skills. These skills will be crucial to Nick's future independence and quality of life.

Supporting him all the way

While it would be easy to accept this current level of communication, Nick's parents and teachers know that for Nick to keep progressing they have to help him push through his current level of competence to the next level, which involves more abstract communication. As Nick's parents have discovered, a plateaued level of skill can last for some time. 
To get Nick to the next level, his parents and therapists use best-practice teaching strategies like aided language stimulation and modeling desired language on Nick's iPad frequently. With persistence and practice, they are helping Nick slowly break through, moving from talking about his own needs to talking about other people and the world around him. 

Sharing feelings

Cathy describes a recent scene: “We’ve had a cold, snowy winter here with many snowstorms. Recently, while we were eating dinner, my husband and I were discussing whether his father would be getting a lot of snow. Nick was quiet and we didn’t think he was paying much attention. After dinner, Nick went off by himself and when I tracked him down he was obviously upset about something. Using Proloquo2Go, Nick told me he was “worried”.
Nick managed to let me know that he was worried about how Grampy would do in the snowstorm. We used Proloquo2Go to find the words Nick needed. It wasn’t grammatical or elegant but it was clear to us what he meant. I called Grampy to check on him and afterwards Nick felt better.”
With the additional supports Nick is now receiving at home and at school, he is sure to break through this plateau.

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