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  Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Very Young Children (0-5 years old)
Research by Lauren Everley & Emily Markov

CSD 823X Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Michigan State University

What is AAC?

Augmentative and alternative Communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas.  We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or gestures, use symbols or pictures, or write.

People with severe speech or language problems rely on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, are available to help people express themselves. This may increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth. (ASHA)

Who Uses AAC?
Anyone with severe expressive communication disorders such as autism, traumatic brain injuries, genetic conditions (down syndrome), cerebral palsy, sensory deficits (visual and hearing) and more.

Speech Generating Devices
No Tech: Does not require a power source.
Low Tech: Requires a power source and is very easy to program.
High Tech: Requires a power source, the most complex devices requiring much more training and programing.

Characteristics Affecting Device Usage
Motor Abilities
Cognitive Abilities
Attention Span
Medical Needs

Types of AAC Devises Available to Children
Picture Based System (PECS, DynaVox)
Three Dimensional Object (Big Mack)
Wearable Communication System (Lingo)
Gestures/Sign (American Sign Language)


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