Responding to a Common Early AAC Question: “Will My Child Talk?” Young children who are at risk for being non-speaking often have multiple concerns that may all need to be addressed during early childhood. Parents may face struggles in helping their children walk, eat, use their hands, or communicate effectively. Among all the typical expectations that may be challenged for their ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2003
Responding to a Common Early AAC Question: “Will My Child Talk?”
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cynthia J. Cress
    University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2003
Responding to a Common Early AAC Question: “Will My Child Talk?”
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, December 2003, Vol. 12, 10-11. doi:10.1044/aac12.5.10
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, December 2003, Vol. 12, 10-11. doi:10.1044/aac12.5.10
Young children who are at risk for being non-speaking often have multiple concerns that may all need to be addressed during early childhood. Parents may face struggles in helping their children walk, eat, use their hands, or communicate effectively. Among all the typical expectations that may be challenged for their child, one of the common concerns raised by parents to speech-language pathologists during this period is: “Will my child talk?” Professionals who routinely work in AAC may be quick to emphasize the benefits of the many alternative forms of communication and encourage parents to focus on these areas of potential strength for their children. For many parents, given the common emphasis on speech as synonymous with communication, labeling a child as “nonspeaking” may imply that the child will never be able to communicate effectively. Part of our role in early AAC is to help parents understand the range of skills involved in augmented communication, including speech. We can’t necessarily predict the extent to which any given young child will develop fully intelligible speech, but the points below outline issues that help to frame speech within the larger context of AAC, and help to understand progress in vocal development in children at risk for being nonspeaking.
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