During the 21 Days of AAC challenge
(which took 32 days for me to complete), I purchased tracking for my AAC device. I'd had logging turned on, but no way to access my logs until I made the purchase.
I know that subjectively, the 21 Days pushed me out of my comfort zone in a way that I found quite valuable. But what do the numbers say? To assess that, I compare the 32 days of the challenge with 32 days before and 32 days after the challenge.
Note that the 'after' results may be biased by several things. First, I was still within that period when I had the idea to write up the results, so I knew I'd be analyzing data and felt motivated to do more in response. Secondly, my tablet carrier arrived in the mail 9 days ago, so I've been carrying my tablet around with me more. And lastly, I found some good homeschooling early readers
and I've been trying to read them with AAC.
Before: 285 sessions
During: 151 sessions
After: 223 sessions
Sessions are divided based on a long stretch of time without any button presses.
Sessions were down during the challenge, and haven't quite returned. However, since sessions are divided by a break of time, this could simply reflect longer sessions.
If I look at the 8 days before and after getting my tablet carrier, I find that I had 32 sessions before and 119 after. So it seems that either the early readers or carrying my tablet, or knowing I'd be analyzing data, has caused an increase in the number of sessions. I think it's the readers - when I come across a word I don't have, I tend to immediately stop and add it, which involves leaving speak mode. I suspect this sometimes triggers a session break.
Before: 5490 words
During: 6975 words
After: 10769 words
A slight increase during the challenge, and then an enormous increase just recently. My guess is that reading the early readers has greatly increased my use of AAC, but it does look like the challenge increased it a bit as well.
Analyzing before and after the tablet carrier arrived, I find I used 2078 words before and 2713 words after. Looks like a big jump. However, if I hadn't used my tablet at all for the last eight days, I would have still used 8056 words since the challenge ended, which is a big increase. So I think the challenge may be responsible as well.
Before: 673 utterances
During: 842 utterances
After: 1214 utterances
Utterances are defined as hitting the "speak" button to say everything on the message board.
There was a large increase for the challenge, and an even bigger increase afterwards. Apparently I've been saying a lot more with my device lately.
For the 8 days before I got my tablet carrier, I said 265 utterances, and after the tablet carrier I've said 391. I'm guessing it's the early readers that did it. Still, my usage was not back to baseline before the tablet carrier arrived.
Before: 8756 buttons
During: 10449 buttons
After: 16436 buttons
Button presses have gone up during the challenge and even more afterwards.
During the eight days before getting the carrier, I pressed 3198 buttons. After, I pressed 4154 buttons. So a big increase, but even if I hadn't pressed any buttons for that time I'd have still made 12282 button presses, which suggests a steady increase from the time of the challenge.
Words per Utterance
Before: average 6.12 words per utterance
During: average 6.37 words per utterance
After: average 6.28 words per utterance
During the challenge, I had an increase in average sentence length. It's gone down afterwards, but hasn't returned to baseline. The early readers are probably dragging down the average, but mostly I think the challenge had me communicating my actual messages, and therefore more closely reflects my non-AAC communication skills.
When I got my tablet, average words per utterance dropped from 5.79 to 5.34. Interestingly, both are much lower than the average for the entire 32 days. It seems like my sentences have been steadily getting shorter.
Words per Minute
Before: average 3.26 words per minute
During: average 3.94 words per minute
After: average 5.57 words per minute
I've been talking faster with AAC. It does seem like there was also an increase during the challenge. I did notice that as I was trying to talk to people I was making an effort to speed up to keep up with what was happening.
Pre-carrier, my words per minute were 7.78, and they've dropped to 5.14 since. This is not what I was expecting. I would have thought the early readers would have sped me up, but they don't seem to have. Maybe it's because they have some new fringe vocabulary that I don't know very well yet, so I have to stop and search.
Utterances per Minute
Before: average .4 utterances per minute
During: average .48 utterances per minute
After: average .63 utterances per minute
Similarly, utterances per minute have gone up a lot lately.
Pre-carrier, utterances per minute were .99, and they've dropped to .74. That mirrors the drop in words per minute, however, both are much higher than my overall average post-challenge. Although it's bumpy, I seem to be improving.
Buttons per Minute
Before: average 5.21 buttons per minute
During: average 5.9 buttons per minute
After: average 8.51 buttons per minute
Again, similar results.
Before the tablet carrier, I had an average of 11.98 buttons per minute, which has dropped to 7.88. Again, what was going on before I got the carrier? This is baffling. But, in any case, my numbers are still higher now than during the challenge.
I'll probably gather similar data after the next challenge, when I do it. It'll be interesting to see how it compares.