You may be working with a child or an adult that uses an AAC communication device. Are you familiar with low-tech AAC devices?
According to Beukelman and Mirenda (2013), an estimated 1.3 percent of Americans cannot meet their daily needs communication needs using natural speech. Using low-tech AAC is one way to help children and adults with limited communication skills.
What is AAC?
AAC or Augmentative and Alternative Communication includes various methods of communication systems including communication devices, strategies and tools that helps a person communicate their wants, needs and thoughts specifically for children and adults who have limited communication skills.
What are the benefits of using AAC?
Studies show improvement in language development, literacy and communication among users including the use of picture exchange. There is also research that shows people working with an AAC are able to:
take turns appropriately
decrease challenging behavior
improve receptive and expressive skills.
Who uses an AAC?
Children with developmental delays including motor, cognitive and physical limitations including children and adults with:
Eat, Think and Speak– a blog written for medical Speech and Language Pathologist on topics relating to swallowing, communication and cognition. Provides a blog article on free low-tech material including a wide variety of premade communication boards
Project Core– Provide free sample lesson plans focusing on talking with one word at a time to using correct grammar and word order.
Dysgraphia is describes as a learning disability that affects writing, spelling and fine motor skills. Dysgraphia is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can occur as a stand alone disorder or part of a co-occurring disorder with other disabilities such as ADHD, Autism, and Dyslexia. Typically it is diagnosed or discovered in the early years when children are beginning to learn how to write. Most adults often remain undiagnosed.
Early Signs of Dysgraphia
Signs and symptoms of dysgraphia generally begin to show up when children began to lean how to write. Early signs of Dysgraphia include:
Inconsistent spacing between letters
Poor spatial planning
Unable to read own handwriting
Poor fine motor skills
Pain in hand from writing
Messy unorganized papers
Difficulty organizing thoughts on paper
Illegible printing and cursive letter formation
Tight, cramped pencil grip
Tires quickly when writing
mixes upper and lower case or irregular sizes and shapes of letters.
The following articles provide resources on accommodations: