AAC and Communication Growth for Individuals with ASD Discussion Paper
Answer the question: Why are some parents and professionals concerned that the use of AAC could inhibit communication growth for individuals with ASD? What is your position? Please list reference
Respond to students discussion board:
The reason that some parents and professionals are concerned about having ACC devices is because they think that the student will not be able to use their own words and that they will never learn to have verbalized communication, when in fact that it has had its research, this is not always the case. There are some non-verbal students that benefit from these devices. It is a helpful tool in which to gain greater communication skills by scaffolding instruction in the device capacity. I like the use of the ACC devices although it can be a struggle to start the students on one and have the families and staff trained to use them can be a hassle. I have personally sen growth with the students who use the ACC devices both as a paraprofessional and as a teacher. It has been researched that students with ASD have learned to communicate on the computer, so an ACC is perfect because it is an electronic device that help communicate for the student. The software can be loaded on an iPad for easy downloads and portability. There is a lack of verbal communication with some ASD children. In the classroom with an ACC device the students learn how to respond to questions and answers, communicate wants and needs, and create a higher sense of belonging in the classroom. Behaviors can also be limited because once the student learns how to use his/her device, the student can tell teacher, staff, and peers what they want to communicate (Sankardas & Rajanahally, 2017). It is a wonderful tool. I currently have two students who have these ACC devices. They are iPads with DynaVox software. It has been a wonderful overall experience for our classroom.
Sankardas, S. A., & Rajanahally, J. (2017). iPad: efficacy of electronic devices to help children with autism spectrum disorder to communicate in the classroom. Support for Learning, (2), 144. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/1467-96…
(SHY) parents and professionals are concerned that AAC will stop someone from learning how to speak because they are no longer using their voice (Oberon, 2019). However, research shows that this is not the case and that actually, AAC encourages all types of communication and can lead to an increase in verbal communication. This is important because as a teacher, I have directly seem the hesitation many parents have when introducing AAC because they do not want to “give up” on the idea that their child will eventually verbally speak. However, it is our job as ASD Specialists to provide research that can ease these anxieties and allow parents to trust our interventions. It is my belief that AAC is not only beneficial but crucial in order to grow skills within not only the education setting but all environments. I believe that AAC allows students to foster their independence and truly create a better quality of life by being able to express their thoughts, wants and needs, to the best of their ability.
In my classroom right now, I have a student who refuses to use his AAC device, he will throw up every time it is presented. He is able to answer yes/no questions using a visual. What interventions do you suggest we try in order to increase his vocabulary? Or, with him being a senior and seemingly happy, do we continue to keep his communication where it is at, since he is comfortable?
Oberon, 0. (2019). Roadblock: AAC will stop a person from learning to speak – AssistiveWare. Retrieved from https://www.assistiveware.com/learn-aac/roadblock-…