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Choosing a Mode of Communication for Children with Autism

By Carrie Slaymaker, CCC-SLP

When evaluating a child with autism who is struggling to communicate, a speech-language pathologist needs to consider several factors which include the function of communication, the environments where the child will be communicating, and the reasons for the child to communicate. While speaking is the most common mode of communication, there are many forms of augmentative and alternative communication that can prove to be very effective. There is strong research behind augmentative and alternative communication systems as a mode to increase interactive and social communications. In addition, research has shown that these systems help support, not preclude verbal communication and can lead to more rapid progress. In my Lingua Health YouTube video, I outline various considerations for a speech-language pathologist to consider when recommending and implementing an augmentative or alternative communication system for children with autism. I’ve also provided a list of resources that provide more information on this topic here.

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