Opinions regarding AAC devices/programs.

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natasi
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08 Jan 2017, 9:51 am

I am an Aspie who works in direct care taking care of people with autism plus moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. I have been pushing to get one of my higher functioning clients an iPad with a communication program. The behavioral therapist doesn't like AAC devices because she says they limit development of verbal communication. I am quite appalled because as far as I know both via studies and anecdotally, AAC devices encourage language development. Plus, even if he stopped talking (client responds with occasional one word phrases, but mostly echolalia), it shouldn't matter because the AAC device would provide him with a wider range of meaningful communication.

So I'm curious to know what other opinions are regarding communication via AAC devices? Have I missed some development in behavioral therapy, or is this particular therapist approaching this from a 1980 viewpoint?



ConceptuallyCurious
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08 Jan 2017, 11:50 am

I think it's much like common views on sign language (for deaf and learning disabled) - some people will cling to the idea of speech/"being normal" even where this is emphatically not the case and at the expense of the development of communication and language of the patient.


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09 Jan 2017, 8:56 pm

I think your colleague is wrong. I'm fully verbal and I still have an AAC app on my tablet, because when I get upset, I lose my words and can't communicate. Preventing the person you're working with from communicating just because AAC's aren't "normal" in comparison to speaking isn't fair. It shouldn't matter how we communicate, as long as we are able to do so effectively.


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teksla
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11 Jan 2017, 12:31 pm

StarTrekker wrote:
I think your colleague is wrong. I'm fully verbal and I still have an AAC app on my tablet, because when I get upset, I lose my words and can't communicate. Preventing the person you're working with from communicating just because AAC's aren't "normal" in comparison to speaking isn't fair. It shouldn't matter how we communicate, as long as we are able to do so effectively.

what aac app do you use?


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EzraS
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11 Jan 2017, 12:58 pm

I think ACC should be used in conjunction with speech therapy. That's been my experience with both my speech therapist and occupational therapist. I can see where the behavioral therapist is coming from regarding concerns over dependence and it stalling development, so I'm not appalled by it, but I tend to disagree.