Augmentative and alternative communication

By Novita May 9, 2024 3:26 am

Communication is not limited to verbal speech and in fact, many children of varying needs and abilities will not be able to communicate in this way. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is the umbrella term for all the other ways in which we might communicate with each other that are not speech. All types of communication are valid and will contribute to growing a young child’s developing brain. 

Some types of AAC include:

  • Signing 

Using either a formal set of signs (like Australian Sign Language) or those that mean something to an individual

  • Object symbols

Objects that represent an activity, object or person

  • Photos, drawings and symbols
  • Communication boards and displays

Sets of visual aids (photos, drawings, symbols) used for communication 

  • Chat books

Often containing visual representations and words or messages about a person 

  • Speech generating devices
  • Spelling

Using an alphabet board or typing device to spell out words

  • PODD Communication Books

Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) is a system of organising words and symbols, specified for an individual and their needs. 

  • All other natural communication

Methods such as gestures, facial expressions and body language. 

While these methods are often used to supplement speech, they have also been shown to assist children to develop their verbal communication as well. 

Learn more: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) | Novita