Communication devices

I am a professional working with a child with CdLS and am wondering if you have any research or articles on the use of communication devices with children with CdLS. It would be very helpful.

SAC approved answer

I don't believe there is research that has been conducted specifically with communication devices and CdLS; however, there is strong support for augmentative communication in non-oral individuals and in individuals with limited oral speech capabilities. I think that as long as one is aware of the potential cognitive and physical limitations of any individual, including an individual with CdLS, one can make accurate choices in augmenting an individual's communication. In my opinion, the most important thing to consider is what is functional for an individual in promoting positive communicative interactions. Companies, like Dynavox and Prentke Romich, certainly will promote their devices, and there are a growing number of apps for Apple devices. An iPad is more cost effective than many of the more typical high tech AAC devices, but the important thing is choosing what is right for the individual in promoting functional communication. Technology has enhanced the options for individuals with limited oral speech, but low tech devices might be an option, particularly for individuals with cognitive limitations. As for support of language development, there is some information on the web site of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) that addresses that issue. The ASHA website has over 2100 links to information about AAC. Without specific information about an individual's needs, it is a little challenging to give better advice. When individuals are given a means of communication (oral, sign, pictures, devices, whatever works), language and cognition benefit, and frustration often decreases for both the individual who has the device and his or her communication partners. For specific research based findings, I would recommend consulting the AAC Special Interest Group of ASHA or its website. 

CC 9-30-2011


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