Augmentative and Alternative Communication
When a child is struggling to develop speech skills, we can and often should provide another robust system. This is critical to develop language skills and functional communication skills when speech skills lag.
The goal is to minimize the disruption of typical communication, social and language skill development while working hard on speech production.
We may consider sign language, gestures, written text or another symbolic communication system to enhance emerging speech skills.
Historically AAC systems were either limited and low cost or robust and extensive. Fortunately, touch screen technology has revolutionized AAC. This new technology continues to profoundly affect availability and access for children.