Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Autism and AAC: Five Things I Wish I Had Known

In the title of this post I’ve linked autism and AAC for a specific reason. A lot of the points here are equally applicable to people who have a different disability but my argument in this particular post is for ALL autistic people to have access to AAC, regardless of whether they can speak. Communication (not speech) must be priority number one When I think about autism “therapies”, a lot of them are focused on trying to force autistic children to become more typical – extinguishing problem behaviours and trying to ‘teach’ social skills, for example. In my opinion, any strategy that does not prioritize communication skills is not only bound to fail but it is also doing a huge disservice to the autistic person. How can an autistic child socialize with his peers if he can’t communicate with them? Why are we spending so much time suppressing behaviours instead of giving a child the means to tell us how she feels? Here’s an excerpt from a draft IEP that a parent shared with me:

 Read more here.