To me, individuals having access to and appropriate training with AAC (when needed) is a matter of equality and human rights.
This quote has always stuck with me. 84 years versus just 1.5.
If we don’t encourage the use of, give access to, and teach AAC to children so that it can be used outside of their SLP sessions, then it will take YEARS (84, to be exact!) for them to gain equivalent exposure to language (in their learning style) as children who are verbal do by age 1.5. If you ask me, that is a massive discrepancy.
AAC can only be as effective as we make it—which is why continual and immersive modelling is so important.
Modelling is a term used by SLPs that simply means showing the child how to use the device without expecting or forcing them to copy. The best way to do this is by finding a word or two on their AAC system or device for each sentence you want to say and pressing the symbols as you say the word.
In order for AAC to truly assist children in communicating to their full potential, then, they must see their AAC system being used—in real situations, for real reasons, by the people around them. In other words, we must model, interact with, and use AAC as often as we can *outside* of SLP sessions, as well.
This is how we bridge the gap between 84, and 1.5.
— Halle Demchuk, SLP
Paediatric SLP | GLP Trained Clinician | Owner of HAEPI SLP
The HAEPI Blog
Check here for HAEPI updates, helpful SLP information, free resources, articles, and more!