Thursday, March 15, 2018

Should All Nonverbal Young Children with Autism Immeditely Have AAC Taught To Them?

Consider that by 18 months, babies have heard 4,380 hours of spoken language and we don’t expect them to be fluent speakers.  Yet, if AAC learners only see symbols modeled for communication twice weekly for 20-30 minutes, it will take 84 YEARS for them to have the same exposure to aided language as an 18 month old has to spoken language. (Jane Korsten- QIAT Listerv 2011).
Who are the best candidates for immediate consideration for AAC?
  1. Nonverbal children who do not progress into vocal imitation even after they have learned to imitate body movements, and who may have sight word vocabulary and other nonverbal cognitive skills.  These would be young children who cannot learn to imitate speech phonemes and have a true underlying speech dyspraxia.  They desperately need AAC to develop symbolic communication.  Some will develop verbal speech as they use signs, PECS, etc., or a combination of strategies.
  2. Preschoolers whose nonverbal performance skills are well below 12-month level.  They will not have the necessary cognitive skills to support language development.  This will be a small group of children.  They will need to use gestural and simple, low tech AAC.

Read the very good article here.