Young children who require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) must be provided with AAC technologies that are designed to meet their needs and accommodate their skills. One critical aspect of matching the system design features of aided AAC technologies to the needs and abilities of the child with complex communication needs is a consideration of the child's developmental skills. This article provides an overview of specific, early developmental milestones in communication, cognition (i.e., attention and working memory), motor skills, and sensory-perception (including visual attention) that influence decisions regarding AAC system design for young children. Developmental considerations are also reviewed for young children with Down's syndrome, a group that often benefits from early provision of AAC. Based on developmental theory and milestones, specific recommendations are provided for the design of developmentally sensitive AAC technologies for young children who are beginning communicators.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Speech and Hearing
- LPN and LVN