Speech Devices in Autism

September 15, 2023

It is not uncommon for kids with autism to perceive and experience the world in unique ways. This distinctive perspective, while different from that of neurotypical children, is not a negative trait–it simply means that these kids may require specific support and tools to effectively communicate and reach their goals! 

One such tool that has been transformative in aiding communication for children with autism is the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices are assistive tools designed to support individuals with communication difficulties, including those with autism. Commonly used in speech therapy, these devices come in various forms, from low-tech to high-tech, and can greatly enhance the communication capabilities of children with autism.

How AAC Devices Work?

AAC devices provide kids with a means to express themselves when traditional spoken communication may be challenging. These speech therapy devices can range from simple picture communication boards to high-tech tablets or dedicated speech-generating devices. Users select symbols, pictures, or words on the device, which is then translated into spoken language or displayed text.

Benefits of AAC Devices

AAC devices offer numerous advantages for children with autism, including:

  • Enhanced Communication– AAC devices bridge communication gaps, allowing autistic kids to express their thoughts, needs, and feelings more effectively.
  • Customized Support– AAC devices can be personalized to suit your child’s unique communication needs and preferences.
  • Increased Independence– These tools empower children to communicate independently, reducing frustration and promoting self-expression.
  • Improved Social Interaction– Speech therapy experts and ABA therapy interventions may use these devices to practice communication skills and foster better social interactions. 

Types of AAC Devices

AAC devices come in two main categories: aided and unaided.

Aided AAC Devices

These aided devices require external tools or equipment to assist communication. Examples include:

  • Communication Boards– Boards with symbols, words, or pictures that users can point to or touch.
  • Speech-Generating Devices– High-tech devices that generate speech when users select symbols or words.

Unaided AAC Devices

These devices rely solely on the user’s body to convey messages. Examples of these speech therapy devices include:

  • Gestures & Sign Language– Using hand movements or signs to communicate.
  • Facial Expressions & Body Language– Expressing emotions and intentions through non-verbal cues.

At Step Forward ABA we are committed to helping children with autism and their families unlock their full potential through custom ABA therapy interventions. Our behavior analysts support kids with ASD in Florida and New Mexico by catering to their unique communication needs. Get in touch with us today to chat with a behavior analyst about ABA therapy for your child with autism. 

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