Consultation, training, and workshops available for both large and small groups looking to support individuals using AAC. Consultation is available in classroom settings, in homes, day programs, and group homes. I am familiar with the whole range of AAC systems; including paper-based communication books, low technology static display devices, high technology dedicated dynamic display devices and iOS devices/apps.
The goal of augmentative and alternative communication use is the most effective interactive communication possible. Anything less represents a compromise of the individual’s human potential. (asha)
The focus is on the interacting, not on the technology. Supporting and fostering communication interactions to meet ALL communicative needs is our goal. The child needs to be able to communicate whatever he wants, whenever he wants; not just when we are testing his knowledge.
Teaching aac use is not about teaching “this symbol means this word;” rather it is about immersing the student in an environment where effective use of symbols to communicate a wide range of meanings and intents is consistently modeled and supported.
Individuals who use AAC are usually those whose current mode of communication restricts the quality and quantity of interactions with others.
All individuals are considered potential candidates for AAC; ASHA and the Joint Commission for Persons with Disabilities have a “zero exclusion” criterion and consider not whether an individual is eligible for services, but rather consider where along the continuum they are currently operating as a starting point . As long as there is a discrepancy between needs and abilities, an individual qualifies for services in AAC. Best practices also dictate that, while there is a relationship between cognitive and linguistic skills, this is not a causal relationship. Language skills are just as likely to affect cognition as vice versa.
Specific language impairment is a developmental language disorder that can impact both expressive and receptive language skills. Language impairment presents differently across individuals, with many acquiring language in the same order as typical children, but at a slower rate.
Dyslexia is a development language based reading disorder, presenting with difficulties with phonological processing skills; phonological awareness, phonological memory, and rapid naming skills. Phonological awareness refers to awareness of and access to the sound structure of language. Awareness that changes in the sequence of sounds leads to changes in meaning is crucial to development of literacy skills. Research tells us that students who have unresolved difficulties with phonological awareness in k-1 develop reading problems.
Children’s narrative skills require coordination of phonologic, morphologic, semantic, and syntactic knowledge, as well as knowledge of the structure of stories and the ability to make inferences based on prior knowledge. In order to tell a story, a child must be able to break down the whole of an idea into sequences of words and sentences to express the idea effectively.