Classroom Freebies

Susan Berkowitz’s Free Yourself from the Myths of Augmentative-Alternative Communication (AAC)

Debunking the myths of alternative communication for students with no or limited speech is something I do over and over again.  Pretty much every week I find myself explaining the truths to school staff or parents about what AAC can and won’t do for their student.

The first hurdle is convincing others that use of AAC should never be a “last resort.”  Far too often I find teams waiting for the child to develop more speech, or any speech at all.  It is heart-breaking to me when I hear people say of an 8 or 10 year old, “We’re still working on speech.  We’re not giving up yet.”  

What is especially hard about that is two-fold.  First, any child who has not had a way to communicate everything he/she wants to for that long is way behind in the communicating curve!  Second, we have found over the years that children who use any form of augmentative communication very often develop more speech than they currently have.  So, it’s a double win.

There are some other myths, and you can read about them in my handout; Common Myths About AAC (Augmentative-Alternative Communication) and the Real Truths.

Keep on talking. And come see me at my blog.