Natural Speech and AAC Intervention in Childhood Motor Speech Disorders: Not an Either/Or Situation The future of natural speech development is uncertain for children with motor speech disorders (MSD). There is a strong desire to put plans in place as early as possible to anticipate long-term needs. Simultaneously, the knowledge that natural speech development may take time and effort and the idea that augmentative ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2014
Natural Speech and AAC Intervention in Childhood Motor Speech Disorders: Not an Either/Or Situation
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth R. Oommen
    Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI
  • John W. McCarthy
    Ohio University, Athens, OH
  • Disclosure: Financial: Elizabeth Oommen and John W. McCarthy have no financial interests to disclose.
    Disclosure: Financial: Elizabeth Oommen and John W. McCarthy have no financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Portions of the data have been presented at the ASHA Convention and the Biennial Conference of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication
    Nonfinancial: Portions of the data have been presented at the ASHA Convention and the Biennial Conference of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2014
Natural Speech and AAC Intervention in Childhood Motor Speech Disorders: Not an Either/Or Situation
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2014, Vol. 23, 117-123. doi:10.1044/aac23.3.117
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2014, Vol. 23, 117-123. doi:10.1044/aac23.3.117

The future of natural speech development is uncertain for children with motor speech disorders (MSD). There is a strong desire to put plans in place as early as possible to anticipate long-term needs. Simultaneously, the knowledge that natural speech development may take time and effort and the idea that augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can help to fill in the gap while such progress is being made makes sense on a foundational level. However, practical questions remain about the balance of natural speech intervention along with AAC use, particularly when both skills may require intervention and practice before functional benefits are realized. Although AAC stands for augmentative and alternative communication, what the acronym does not provide is an indication of how balance between augmenting natural speech and seeking more of an alternative is to be obtained. In this article, we review impairments in natural speech in children with MSDs. Through this lens, we navigate a path to understanding how, on a practical level, AAC and natural speech strategies can be implemented simultaneously and in a complementary fashion. Following an overview of literature, we move to a discussion of the dual paradigm approach. Finally, we conclude with practical applications of principles through a case study.

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