What are some benefits of using AAC in an early childhood program for children under 5 who have limited spoken language?
The opportunity to use AAC can be discussed as rather beneficial for those children under 5 years who have some developmental disabilities and limited spoken language. AAC provides the variety of techniques and methods which allow increasing the children’s possibilities to interact and communicate with each other effectively.
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For instance, the usage of gestures and body movements in order to help to perceive and comprehend the necessary information can contribute to breaking the possible barriers in communication. Moreover, the usage of symbols and pictures is significant for the children under 5 years because their perception of the visual information in connection with the auditory material is more effective due to its stability, prolonged character, and concreteness of the meaning (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2000).
Teachers can successfully draw the children’s attention to the object and spoken information about it with the help of gestures, movements, facial expressions, signs, eye contact, pictures, and symbols along with speech.
The techniques of AAC can stimulate the children’s response to the spoken or demonstrated messages with involving them in the further communication. Furthermore, the early intervention of the methods of AAC contributes to the progress of the children’s functional communication and decreases the risks of the development of the communication difficulties in the future (Cress & Marvin, 2003).
How could you use AAC to promote the inclusion of all children in a pre-school classroom? What key points might you communicate to families who have a child with verbal communication difficulties about the value of AAC in your classroom? Consider the rights of the child (all children) in your response
The methods of AAC are effective for involving all the children from the classroom in the communication activity. It is possible because of a range of ways to attract the children’s attention and stimulate their responses. AAC methods can also contribute to expressing the children’s initiative in communicating.
From this point, it is effective to use unaided as well as aided types of AAC with paying much attention to the facial expression, eye contact, Key Word Signs, using real objects and pictures or photos. The influential aspects of the process are the children’s interest, comprehension, and the active participation in the communication.
The value of AAC in a classroom is based on the development of possibilities for the children’s interactions. It is extremely important to provide children with the possibility to communicate with each other, especially when they have the limited abilities to do it effectively.
In this case, AAC is used in order to meet the children’s rights in the sphere of communication. The usage of AAC helps to overcome the barriers for children in their communicating with each other in order to share the definite information.
Thus, children receive the opportunity to satisfy their communication needs and be involved in social activities. Moreover, AAC techniques are developed and researched to provide the most effective vocabulary or methods of communicating (Trembath, Balandin, & Togher, 2007).
It is important for parents to concentrate on the fact that the outcomes from using AAC techniques and methods can be more successful when the efforts of teachers and families are combined, and intervention of AAC techniques is realised in the pre-school classroom (Dunst, 2000).
Cress, C. & Marvin, C. (2003). Common questions about AAC services in early intervention. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 19, 254-272.
Dunst, C. J. (2000). Revisiting “Rethinking early intervention”. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 20(2), 95-104.
National Research Council and Institute of Medicine (2000). Promoting healthy development through intervention. In J. P. Shonkoff and D. A. Phillips (Eds.), From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development. Board on Children, Youth and Families, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Trembath, D., Balandin, S., & Togher, L. (2007). Vocabulary selection for Australian children who use augmentative and alternative communication. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 32(4), 291-301.