Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is an alternative communication systems for children with autism who cannot talk. When children with autism first start intervention in the Early Start Denver Model or ESDM, we aim to get the child talking. However, some children don’t talk and we have to consider AAC.
What is the Early Start Denver Model or ESDM?
The ESDM is an evidence based intervention for young children with autism. The child has goals across all areas of development – including verbal expression. Verbal expression includes the ability to talk. We review each child’s goals every 10 weeks in the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). When a child does not progress in their verbal expression goals during this period of time, we look at using alternative communication. Then our Speech Pathologists, Occupational therapists and Certified ESDM Therapists work together to determine the most appropriate AAC for each child.
What is AAC?
Alternative communication includes gesture, picture exchange, iPad apps and written words. We individualise AAC for each child. Importantly, we individualise to the child’s comprehension, cognitive level, fine motor skills and personal interests. One of the concerns many people express when alternative communication is being considered is whether the AAC will stop the child from talking. Fortunately their is no evidence to show that alternative communication stops children with autism from talking. In fact, there is some evidence to show that it improves the ability of some children to talk. AAC works for any age! It is not just for young children with autism.
OneOnOne Children’s Therapy is located in Bondi Junction in Sydney. Our team of therapists is trained at the highest levels of fidelity so we can improve children’s lives. If you want to find out more about the ESDM and AAC, then call our clinic on (02) 80657837 or email us.