Common Questions about AAC Services in Early Intervention
- Cress, C. J., & Marvin, C. A.
- Common Questions about AAC Services in Early Intervention
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Children and adults with developmental delays have benefited from the use of augmentative and alternative
communication (AAC) systems to develop language skills necessary for more generative and functional communication.
Beginning communicators however, have historically been considered too young or too pre-linguistic
and therefore have not been introduced to AAC systems until behaviors, thought to be prerequisites,
have been noted. Recent research and theories about early communication development have challenged this
traditional practice and broadened the scope of what is considered to be AAC. Practitioners and parents unfamiliar
with early AAC options may not recognize possible applications of communication strategies used with
typically developing children and older persons with developmental disabilities. AAC is applicable at all ages
for learning communication roles and behaviors as well as for functional communication for persons who do
not yet demonstrate clear referential symbol use. This article addresses nine questions that are frequently asked
about early introduction of AAC systems to children under 3 years of age. Rationales and strategies are provided
that can assist early interventionists and parents in considering AAC options for children at risk for being
unintelligible or non-speaking.