[Source: PrAACtically AAC]
We often get this question from our fellow SLPs, particularly those who work with students who have autism. From the question alone, it seems like AAC is not needed, and would be a step backward for this particular student. But what happens when we dig a little deeper?
The last time this question was posed to me, it was about Marcella, an 8 year old with ASD. As the conversation progressed, we learned more about Marcella’s communication profile. Independently, she uses 2-3 word sentences to ask for things she wants (e.g., “Want that popsicle.” “More Dora”) and single words to protest (“No!”). With prompting Marcella uses 1-2 words for greeting (e.g., “Hi Tony”), labelling (e.g., “Dora book”), answer questions, (e.g., “here,” “sunny”) and a few other social purposes.