1) Technology and Augmentative Communication
Systems can be very powerful, but they are useless in enabling children
to realize their potential without appropriate training and a supportive
2) Augmentative language or assistive technology system means: multiple
- The use of multiple systems is vastly more
effective than use of a single system. System choice depends on the individual's
situation, environment, needs, fatigue, and the communication partners,
3) Assessment and evaluation are on-going
4) Vocabulary and Symbol selection are ongoing processes.
5) Experiencing receptive use
of augmentative systems is important for those children developing language
for the first time. Augmentative communication is effectively taught
in an environment comparable to foreign language immersion.
6) Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology is most effective
if taught in an interactive and pragmatic format.
7) Partner training can play an important role
in the success of communication and adaptations.
- learning in functional situations facilitates
- anything that has some intrinsic motivation
for the child is more likely to be practiced in different settings and
used by the child.
- motivation is governed by the amount of
control and connection the child feels in the communicative interaction.
8) Classroom and home integration are crucial to success.
9) The art and science of augmentative communication
and Assistive Technology is still a developing field.
- Children learn to use augmentative communication
and assistive technology more effectively if it is integrated into all
aspects of their day.
- Communication needs and access needs will
vary in different situations and need to be planned for ahead of time.
10) Implementing augmentative communication
and assistive technology consumes an enormous amount of time and energy from
therapists, teachers, parents and the child.
- we are still learning new strategies
- equipment/technology is rapidly changing
- we don't have all the answers, research
in this field is just beginning
- we learn from the children and their reactions
- This is especially true if it is an addition
to the curriculum instead of an integral part of it.
But it's worth it!
- improves self-concept and self esteem
- provides motivation
- reduce frustration and behavior problems
- increase participation in daily life
- facilitates learning by making learning
interactive instead of passive
- changes expectations of others for child's
Linda J. Burkhart
6201 Candle Court
Eldersburg, MD 21784 , USA
Adapted from Total Augmentative Communication in the Early Childhood Classroom,
by Linda J. Burkhart ©1993
All Rights Reserved, Linda J. Burkhart
Web site: http://www.Lburkhart.com