Monday, January 5, 2009

Is your child non-verbal or does he or she have delayed speech? Does he or she use sign language, PECS, gestures, proximity or word approximations? Anyone with a language delay or disability is a potential Augmentative and Assistive Communication (AAC) user.

Students have a right to Assistive Technology under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act. This includes Augmentative and Assistive Communication (AAC). Federal law also mandates family involvement in the decision making process. The article above very clearly describes these rights and how families might be involved. 

How do you know if someone is a potential AAC user? Anyone with a disability that impacts their expressive language is an AAC user.  Some people are afraid that using AAC will discourage children from developing oral language. AAC actually helps children develop and use langauge, and often success with AAC increases children's interest in and ability to communicate.  The link below provides excellent resources about AAC for young children.

For most students with a language delay or disability, AAC can provide access to curriculum. Without these supports, some children simply cannot receive the free and appropriate education they are entitled to.