Language and AAC Intervention in Young Children: Never Too Early or Too Late to Start We are pleased that ASHA Division 1, Language Learning and Education and Division 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication decided to do a joint issue on this important and timely topic of early AAC and language intervention. We appreciate the opportunity to bring together this group of talented colleagues to ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2001
Language and AAC Intervention in Young Children: Never Too Early or Too Late to Start
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cynthia J. Cress
    University of Nabraska-Lincoln
  • Lisa A. Wood
    Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2001
Language and AAC Intervention in Young Children: Never Too Early or Too Late to Start
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, June 2001, Vol. 8, 3-4. doi:10.1044/lle8.1.3
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, June 2001, Vol. 8, 3-4. doi:10.1044/lle8.1.3
We are pleased that ASHA Division 1, Language Learning and Education and Division 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication decided to do a joint issue on this important and timely topic of early AAC and language intervention. We appreciate the opportunity to bring together this group of talented colleagues to report on their recent work in these areas. The blending of these two specialty interest areas in this newsletter issue helps to emphasize the integral relationships between the development of linguistic symbols and other forms of augmented communication.
The title of this introductory article reflects our perspective on early AAC and the commonly asked question “When is a child (or adult) ready for AAC?” In previous research and clinical practice, there had been an emphasis on establishing cognitive prerequisites for AAC, such as Piagetian means-end skills (e.g., Shane & Bashir, 1980). Articles proposing such “prerequisites” unnecessarily limited the range of AAC to symbolic or electronic forms and did not recognize the developmental continuum of every form of communication, including AAC, from infant behaviors to symbols and beyond. Denying AAC intervention to children who do not yet understand symbols or demonstrate supposed prerequisites also contradicts a fundamental principle of language development: comprehension of a particular word does not always precede production of that word or symbol.
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