“My heart sank when my non-verbal child was diagnosed with Autism. I felt scared and alone. I worried my child wouldn’t be accepted by classmates. When I saw how well the PRC-Saltillo device worked for him, I cried. For the first time I felt like there was hope, that there was a plan. His transformation has been incredible. I discovered how kind and intelligent my child really is. I am so grateful to my SLP and teachers for this small miracle.”
"Before we began working with you, my 10-year-old daughter, Emma, had no way to communicate. She often used her eyes and facial expressions to communicate her wants and needs, but unless you knew her well, her cues were often dismissed or missed.
"I felt like there was a disconnect in my relationship with my daughter. I knew she had many thoughts and opinions by her facial expressions, but was left guessing what they might be and what she would choose to say. I worried about her safety when she wasn't with me. What if someone hurt her and she couldn't tell me? How would she tell people if she was hungry, sad, not feeling well, or was happy?
"Everyone kept insisting on trying forms of communication that just did not work for her. She has a significant tremor, which makes fine motor actions not only frustrating, but nearly impossible. We tried PECS, an iPad, a Big Mac button. And we were all left discouraged.
"Emma's PCP was moving to a new city and had been asking us to visit with her device. Up to that point, she hadn't used it to have a meaningful conversation. She used the preset messages we had added to tell him thank you and goodbye, appropriately. She then chimed in during our discussion about her allergy medication when the doctor asked me if we should try a different one. She answered yes. She then said, "school, play, teacher, yes" because she knew she was missing school and wanted to go. As we were leaving, she wanted to stop and tell the nurse a joke (the nurse laughed a lot and had a great sense of humor). At that point, we realized just how much Emma had been missing out on, how much she wanted and needed to participate in every area of her life.
"Emma has been able to show her doctors, peers, teachers, and family just how much she understands. She has been able to participate in her own medical decisions. She has built friendships and has even advocated for a friend when she felt they needed it.
"Every year, Emma and I organize and host a 5K to raise money for research into her disorder. A friend usually pushes Emma the 3.1 mile race route. This past year, for the first time, she repeatedly asked to go see mommy. It's the first time I have "heard" that word come from her. I have waited 11 years to hear her say "mommy".
"Emma is so witty and very funny. She is social and finds joy in making people laugh. She is fiercely protective of her friends and those she loves. She the bravest person I know. After 11 years of being at the mercy of those around her for literally all of her needs and wants, she did not lose hope and chose to accept a new way of communicating to take back power she has never really had for herself."
"It has been amazing to watch Haleigh go from using single words, to phrases, and now sentences. Haleigh is able to use her Accent 1000 device to communicate anything she wants to. We are so proud of her!"
"Jake’s communication device has opened his world to opportunities we didn’t know were possible! … Through Jake’s NovaChat, we are all beginning to learn so much more about who he is as an individual."
"Her Accent 1400 + NuEye has helped Caroline reach her IEP goals around communication, socialization, writing/reading skills, and so much more. Something like this is really life changing. It's given her a whole lot of confidence!"
"If any parent is having apprehension about the device, don’t. … Knowing what your child is thinking…it means the world."
"I can't believe how much I've learned about him. I can now talk to my child. I can find out what his wants and needs are. He can tell me if he is hurting, that he wants to swing, or that he would prefer to go on a bike ride over a walk. I can't imagine a world without this device. Most important, I’ve had the opportunity to get to really know my son. Think about how powerful that is. There is no better part of my day than when Parker and I get the chance to talk."
"December 29 our Accent 800 arrived at our door, and life has never been the same. Our son has words. And it's changing everything."
"Before my son had a Saltillo device at ages 2-4 we had to guess what he wanted. We knew he was a bright boy but didn’t have the tool to express his needs, wants and feelings.
"We felt frustrated that he didn’t have the appropriate tool that he needed to communicate. We also felt guilty that we weren’t providing him with a tool to help him.
"I have called into the service department several times in the last 4 years. The service team was also polite, friendly, knowledgeable and patient with me. If we couldn’t problem solve over the phone, I knew that sending the device in for service wouldn’t leave my son without his communication tool. The loaner program has been easy to use and is seamless.
"I believe that it’s the Saltillo team that has made me a believer in Saltillo. The service and support team has been top notch. Recently, because of Covid-19, I decided to home school my son, who is immune compromised. Before telehealth therapies, I was on my own to continue his education. When I needed a person to guide me through taking my son to the next level academically, I reached out to Melissa Hoy, my support person. Not only has she been supportive in the past with ideas and lessons on using the device, but she really stepped up with the hours of conversations and went above and beyond and reprogrammed his device to meet his current needs. Melissa has been a pivotal person in my son’s communication. With her lessons and conversations, my confidence in modeling how to use the device has helped.
"My son can read. We know this in his receptive skills. However, to take him to the next level academically specifically in reading, he can answer questions about what he has read by using his device.
"My son used the device to tell his doctor who saved his life, “I love you,” at our last appointment. The doctor had tears in his eyes. It was very emotional.
"I have discovered that just because a person can’t talk, doesn’t mean that they can’t communicate and accomplish big things in life. My son has shown so much potential. As his mom and current educator, I’m excited to see how far he will go! Thank you Satillo Team for giving my son The gift of communication! His is device is priceless!"
"The biggest issue we had with our old device was how hard it was to navigate. You would have to press several icons in order to find common words and unless you really knew the program it was very hard to use. It made it difficult for teachers to help my daughter learn and communicate. It took her years to become some what fluent with the program.
"Our Saltillo device, the NovaChat, is very user friendly. She was able to use and navigate it very quickly. Within weeks she was fluently using it and was able to say things much faster. She is also now using complete sentences more instead of two-three word phrases. My daughter also speaks Spanish. With her old device the accent in the voice was so bad you couldn't understand what she was saying. With our new device the voice is much more clear in English and Spanish.
"As a parent is was very frustrating to try and learn the program of our old device. I attended two classes where they taught us about the device and program but was still very confusing to use. It has been such a relief to have a device that is more user friendly.
"The home screen is so much easier to navigate. My daughter has access to 148 icons on the main screen alone. With her old device they used a lot of symbols as to words and it became very confusing. We have also had amazing support in setting the device up and customizing it for her. If there ever is a issue, it is resolved quickly.
"We tried several devices out in therapy before we came across the Nova chat. We knew instantly that it was a match. I didn't realize how much her old device was holding her back. Even from the very first time she used it, she was able to navigate it very easily.
"As I stated before it really helped her academically. With the easy access to so many words, she began using full sentences in class. Before she would put 2-3 words on the talker and you would have to guess the rest of the sentence.
"For example, if she wanted to tell you she went to the fair this weekend she would say "go fair." Now with her NovaChat she would use a complete sentence such as " I went to the fair." She was able to write essays and school presentations with her NovaChat as well. Her teachers also noted that she didn't seem so drained by the end of the day because it took less effort to use.
"One thing she was really excited about is that she is able to text and send emoji's to her friends. Very important to a kid haha. Overall we are very happy with our new device. It has given our daughter more independence and confidence!"
"My child was diagnosed with ASD. The most pressing concern we had before taking him to be tested was a delay or drop off in speech. We subsequently noticed a decrease in desire to interact with others because he could not communicate during play or to have his needs met.
"It was the lack of communication, probably more than any other that presented then or has presented since his diagnosis, that is the most difficult. In terms of safety, it is scary to be in a situation where your child cannot communicate if there is a problem. He attends preschool and therapy where I leave him in the care of others. It is still scary for me to leave him knowing he cannot fully communicate to his teachers or therapists if he is being mistreated, if he is scared, or if he is having some other kind of crisis.
"For me, it was also painful not to be able to communicate freely with my child. The basic things like hearing about what my child did during the school day or what he might like to eat for dinner was sad. It was also difficult to gain my child’s attention or his” buy in” to interact and build a strong relationship if I did not know how to meet his needs or what he was interested in playing.
"Since acquiring his communication device (“talker,” as we call it at home), he has blossomed. He enjoys choosing the snacks, movies, or games he wants. He can tell me where something hurts, he can tell me his favorite animals, and he can even finish lines to songs or stories using his talker to “fill in the blank.”
"More than anything else, this provided a fast way to communicate that can be easily specialized. This system allows me to add more pictures of people (classmates, family members), food choices (to allow me to present choices on the go, like in restaurants), movies as they become favorites, and toys as we gain them. It is easy and efficient to give my son the vocabulary he needs to interact with his family, classmates, and therapists.
"The other methods we used prior to this, mainly PECS, was difficult to maintain and resulted in my having to find, cut, laminate, and Velcro pictures in order to add them to his ever-growing binder of words. It was definitely not practical for on-the-go.
It also only gave my child the ability to request. His “talker” has unlimited possibilities in terms of communication. He can share information, tell me where something hurts, comment, initiate play with a peer, ask questions, and (his current favorite) “make” animal sounds, just to name a few. The possibilities are endless with this device and there are now no limits to my child’s communication.
"On my child’s fourth birthday, we took him to the zoo where we came upon the tiger exhibit. We were in the beginning stages of learning the device and he was using it mostly to request. We brought it along and used his favorite topic, animals, to model labeling as we came upon each animal and tried asking him what he wanted to see next. When we stopped at the tigers, the babies that had been born a few months prior had been given a red ball to “play” with. My son grabbed his talker and told me “tiger play ball.”
"This was significant for 2 reasons. First, that statement is 3 separate “hits-“3 buttons he had to find and push (without losing interest) to communicate with me. That was more than he had ever done at the time. Second, it was just a statement. He wanted to share the experience with me. He wasn’t requesting or labeling, he was talking to me. I won’t ever forget that day and luckily, I’ve had several beautiful moments just like that since.
"I also think it is worth mentioning that the communication device we got has served as a gateway for my son to communicate in other ways. He is now learning sign language and is practicing verbal speech as well as using his talker.
"This was meaningful to me from the beginning of this whole journey with this talker that we never give up hope that communication for my child could be verbal. Because he has been able to get his needs and wants met and have meaningful interactions with a variety of people through this talker, his desire to communicate overall has grown.
"This device has given my child and me a new relationship. I am encouraged every time I can say “tell me” and point to his device because it gives us a way to understand each other. We get to have fun communicating with each other, not just have confusing and frustrating interactions that leave both of us disappointed. It is also a very gratifying feeling to know that I can give my child what he wants. It seems simple enough, but in our experience, it has not always been this way. I can give him the red cup he wants to drink out of and his grandparents can buy him the stuffed animal he wants at the zoo gift shop!
"I feel fortunate to have so many special memories with my child. I feel happy every time I have an enjoyable interaction because of this technology. Each time my child asks for help or shows me what he knows when he couldn’t before, it feels special.
"I particularly love reading books with my child using his talker to discuss pictures further. I can ask him which animals he loves or what sound an animal makes and he can respond- and wants to respond. Our favorites now are “Wimmelbooks” which have no words to read at all, only pictures or scenes. We have reading time each day when my younger child is napping that we spend looking at these books together. The small, quiet moments that show how much our relationship has grown because we can communicate are truly my most treasured.
"I have discovered, through this experience, how much both of us want to be understood. We both want to communicate with each other and we both want to share our thoughts and feelings. I have been able to watch my child persevere through the frustration of being unable to communicate. I’ve seen him have such big happy moments because he can share his passions.
"I’ve learned that these wonderful tools, like the talker, do not have to signify the end of hope. By opening myself up to new ideas, I’ve been able to give my child this technology to help make communication easier. Because of this talker, I have been able to experience hearing more new sounds and sound combinations (including “mama”). This talker does not mean he will never speak traditionally.
"I was also, embarrassingly, a little worried about how the public perception of this device would be. I wasn’t sure if my child would receive unwanted attention at school, in our community, and even with family members. I have been surprised and very excited that the reception of this talker has been overwhelmingly good thus far. We love people’s curiosity and sharing how my child uses his talker and we have received very little judgement or unwillingness to accept this new method of communication.
"I know he is still very young, and we obviously care more about the benefits he receives as opposed to public opinion, but it did worry me before the talker became a part of our everyday life. I have found that our attitude also sets the tone in interactions with others in our community. We have chosen to treat the talker as if it is a very “normal” part of our life and we find that most everyone follows suit.
"I also have an ever-growing appreciation for the people who make things like this possible for my family. From the actual device, to parent education, to innovations to make current technology even better, I am grateful to be on the receiving end of this device. Knowing there are people out there who have chosen a job that includes making it possible for my son to be able to tell me absolutely anything at all, gives me a lot of hope."
"There are no words to describe how it feels to be able to talk to your child when it wasn't possible before."
"Interacting with others has always been very natural for him, and so has using the AAC devices&hellipHe's absorbed it like a sponge and he even programs his own words and phrases into TouchChat to expand his language. He loves it and knows it's his voice. It's the first thing he goes to when he wakes up and the last thing he touches before he goes to sleep at night."
"When people see Xavier, they want to interact with him but they aren't sure how,” said Kristy. “They are fascinated by the device and surprised and pleased when he greets them. The device is a great conversation starter and enables him to communicate, not just his needs, but to also participate in the discussion."
"With that movement, I asked if we could explore direct access with a keyguard, so Miles could actually touch the screen to make a selection without accidentally tapping the wrong buttons&hellipIn the end they both felt it was a good fit, and it seems Miles has made faster progress with this type of access."
"She just blew me away,” said Sam, describing Macy’s reaction to the device. “We have loved it ever since."
"Today he uses a more complex vocabulary than what he started out with…He's able to answer questions we never thought he would have known, just because he didn't have the words to express himself before. It's been awesome to see this transformation."
“My last AAC client’s needs were complex. I felt overwhelmed and was worried I'd fail her. Working with my PRC-Saltillo consultant changed everything. I saw how she used their SLP-trained network to find the best solution for my client. I learned so much and now am more confident I can help anyone needing AAC.”
"Before I found PRC, I had a highly frustrating series of conversations with another company: I found their customer service very unfriendly and difficult to reach; every device I had seen was completely unique from any others; and there was virtually no support for SLPs. How could I teach a client to use one, let alone the parents? The learning curve was too extreme. I felt like a needed a semester-long class in programming, and they had NOTHING to offer in terms of how to support clients’ usage.
"Other AAC systems, like PECS or apps on phones, also were not user friendly and especially not designed for my clients with Autism, who tend to be visual thinkers and need consistency and ease of use without lots of 'visual noise.'
"I felt helpless and ineffective, two emotions which lead to professional burnout quickly. I wanted to give up and just refer clients to someone else, but I felt very guilty about this option too. People came to me for help and I had to tell them I couldn’t help them.
"I was so grateful to have found PRC when I did. I have never had a negative customer service experience once. There was a lot to learn initially, but the team and reps made it feel possible and much easier than I expected. The fact that every device is set up essentially the same meant that I could put my resources into learning implementation strategies, the most important component to successful AAC usage in my opinion. Programming was easy with vocabulary builder. Customization was simple with the user-friendly interface.
"Whenever I did have a problem, I had multiple ways to try and solve it either through pdf instructional documents, videos on Youtube, or simply calling the 1-800 number on the back of the device. Moreover, if I had a novel problem or question that I couldn’t find the solution to in these ways, I called my regional rep Jennifer Monahan, who has ALWAYS been there for me. For example, when I had my first patient with ALS, I needed to find an effective system for an adult who would have increasingly limited mobility issues. Jennifer came to my office and met with the patient to ensure she was well supported.
"I knew I had found “the” solution when my pediatric clients started demonstrating that they were intrinsically motivated to use the device independently, to communicate with me. When they followed this up with eye contact and smiles, I realized that I had finally found the right system and that I could finally deliver AAC therapy that I felt truly good about.
"I have had so many special memories with so many clients at this point. One of my very favorites is the video with Emma that I sent you. This was a little girl who only paced the room and howled when I met her. No one thought she would ever talk or interact at all. She was so distant and unengaged in the beginning. LAMP allowed us to SEE her in a completely new way. She had thoughts and feelings and questions and comments she wanted to express all along, but until that time, we had never had a way. When she asked for the Three Little Pigs story, she was asking for engagement with me, connection. I don’t think she would have done that for a very long time without LAMP.
"Getting LAMP certified is one of the best things I’ve done in terms of continuing education. I can honestly say, ALL my clients have benefitted from the knowledge I gained with that training. Additionally, though it was only an hour long and very inexpensive, the online class Beyond Basic Requests, was also incredibly invaluable and I recommend it all the time."
"I was lucky enough to be introduced to PRC and Saltillo products early on in my career. I know the problems I would have had without the products and support would be having vocabulary files available that children truly understood and could use. With other companies/files that I have used or been exposed to, it was difficult for many of the children I work with to understand, as many of the vocabularies required extensive navigation or did not allow for growth with both fringe and core vocabulary. In addition, the knowledge of the team and consultants of other companies, especially vocabulary/implementation knowledge, did not match what PRC -Saltillo has to offer.
"To not have a system that the children I work with could understand and effectively use felt frustrating. It would be like trying to squeeze into a pair of shoes that didn’t fit. I knew independence would not be achieved and thus the families and children would be left with the idea that AAC, specifically SGDs, would not be effective for their child. With PRC- Saltillo vocabulary files and devices, understanding and independence are able to be achieved and families can see success.
"The vocabulary systems offered truly help me match a variety of needs. I love working with LAMP for those children who need consistent motor plans for vocabulary and it feels good as a SLP to have a system that teaches each word as a single unit, especially for those children with ASD. I also find that many children with language understanding,but no way to express, really connect with the WordPower files. I like how there is equal access to both core and fringe vocabulary and ability to easily navigate and build utterances.
"There are many devices to choose from allowing me to really match access needs as well as preference of the family, by offering devices with different operating systems.
"I can not say enough about the support, not only of the consultants, Gretchen and Amanda who are amazing, but also the entire teams’ communication from start to finish to help the children I work with receive their device so they are able to communicate.
"As stated before, I was fortunate to be able to know about the companies/products of PRC-Saltillo early on in my career. I experienced them working for children from the very start with my first AAC evaluation in my Clinical fellowship year, where we matched the child with a Vantage Lite with LAMP vocabulary. I feel I have only been able to better match needs as updates and additional products are available.
"It is difficult to think of just one; however I would say some of the most special moments are when I see children who have so much language understanding and desire to communicate but no way to effectively do this. Then I have a session with them and their caregivers and as soon as they see the PRC-Saltillo device and vocabulary available they start exploring and get excited when they realize they can now actually communicate their thoughts and ideas. I recently worked with a young child who immediately understood the purpose and located vocabulary on the recommended Saltillo device, truly due to the vocabulary organization of the system. His mom explained he would “light up” as he was able to use words on the SGD to comment and finally initiate social interactions with others.
"It definitely makes me more knowledgeable and feel more confident as I am evaluating children for a device and educating families. I know I have a team ready with PRC-Saltillo to always answer any questions I have and also help offer solutions for the families and children I work with, not only in regards to product support, but also funding and education."
"My experience with Saltillo has been overwhelmingly positive!
"I recently took over for an SLP who was in the process of initiating an AAC trial through Saltillo with a patient. I was worried that taking over the trial would be confusing and difficult; however, the transition was seamless thanks to our Saltillo consultant. I was able to quickly acclimate to the process and get up-to-speed on the current status of the trial and corresponding documentation. This allowed me to go into treatment sessions with the background knowledge I needed.
"Once the device was received by the family, they learned how to use it quickly. The patient and his family navigated through the device with ease, and have spoken highly of the intuitive nature of WordPower. WordPower has helped with his sentence structure and increasing his length of utterance.
"During the trial, the patient’s mother accidentally deleted everything from the device and called me in a panic. I was able to get her in touch with our consultant who was able to troubleshoot the issue quickly and restored everything that had been lost.
"Saltillo’s customer service is excellent, and I would highly recommend their services and products!"
"I was unsure about how to involve and engage my students with complex needs through a computer screen. The require lots of sensory input and modeling during sessions and I was unsure of how I could lead either of those things without being with them physically.
"Before reading TeleTips, I felt helpless, hopeless and overwhelmed, and anxious that my therapy might be ineffective.
"TeleTips was a complete and detailed resource that walked me through the beginning of my teletherapy journey. I work with children with a wide range of abilities and needs. TeleTips gave me reassurance that I could still provide quality therapy through a computer screen. The organization, outsourced links to videos and other resources, and the personal touch of a Saltillo consultant made all the difference.
"I felt more confident, prepared, and excited to try out new virtual materials.
"The links to the webinars and YouTube demonstration videos were a game changer. Once I learned I could share my screen to show videos and model with Chat Editor, I knew I could get somewhere with my kids. The correspondence with my personal Saltillo consultant was also top notch. She gave me more links to direct resources and videos and answered ALL of my questions thoroughly.
"After I watched a webinar about making virtual therapy fun, I was in!
"My kids have big personalities, each individual in their own way. I have seen kids beam with pride after ordering food/drink items independently at a restaurant. and watched them interact with peers in the community by telling a funny joke with their NovaChat.
"PRC-Saltillo has opened my eyes to a new language and way of communication for my kids. The materials, activity suggestions, and support are beyond compare."
"I couldn’t communicate very well. I couldn’t communicate in words or sentences, I meant. It was extremely frustrating not to express the simplest of things.
"Then I got a PRC-Saltillo device. The head light enabled me to point to a communication board without becoming physically exhausted! A tremendous weight was lifted. Using the Light Talker, Delta Talker and Accent 1400 gave me an actual voice that people could hear. It was awesome having people be able to hear what was inside!!
"Now I can manage my life! That may sound so simple to you but its significant. I can to say when I have to go to the bathroom, when I’m hungry or thirsty, when I’m sick and etc. My Accent helps me to use the computer and social media. It helps me talk on the phone, etc.
"With my device I can be the direct person I am. I’m opinionated but I am not forceful about it. That’s due to my voice, I think. I like to make people feel better about themselves. I like to help people."
"It has greatly improved my quality of life…The ability to communicate with others, whether slow or fast, is vital for anybody. I would argue that with people in my situation (I have to have people do a lot of my personal care needs), it can be even more important since I have to instruct people on what to do and how to do it."
"This software and your service have significantly improved my quality of life and enabled communication with my family and caregivers. Since I have been diagnosed with ALS and no longer move between my neck and knees, being able to communicate keeps me alive. Without the ability to communicate I do not exist to the world. You all do SO make a difference."