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Monday, November 8, 2010

When Should a Child Use AAC?

TapToTalk and similar products uses state-of-the-art technology to make AAC affordable. So instead of obsessing on the cost of AAC, families, teachers and SLPs can focus on what is truly in the best interest of the child.

For some parents, this leads to concerns about whether TapToTalk, or, for that matter, any AAC is appropriate for their child. Of course, we really cannot answer that (though we are often asked), because we don't know your child. We recommend that concerned parents seek out professional help from a speech-language pathologist (SLP).

But the most common concern appears to be unfounded: AAC does not become a crutch that inhibits speech development. Quite the opposite. Children who use AAC devices make more speech attempts and make more progress in their speech, especially when used as part of professional speech therapy treatment. Success with AAC helps them grasp what communication is all about, and that they can express themselves, which makes them want to do it all the more.

There are also some great online resources for parents who are concerned about using AAC, especially for very young children.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) web site has Basic Information About Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

Joanne M. Cafiero and Ann Meyer published Your child with autism: when is augmentative and alternative communication an appropriate option? in Exceptional Parent.

University of Northwestern Iowa published research from a master's thesis entitled Does AAC impede natural speech?-and other fears.

These and other authoritative resources can help alleviate most concerns. But nothing beats an evaluation by an SLP who knows your child.

If you have a TapToTalk idea or story you'd like us to share with other TapToTalk users, please email us at blog@taptotalk.com.

The TapToTalk Team
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