Tricks and trips
“An 18-month-old boy or girl has been exposed to 4,380 hours of oral
language, 8 hours per day on average, since birth. A child with a
communication system (AACS) who receives speech therapy twice a
week for 30 minutes will achieve the same amount of language
exposure in 84 years”.
Jane Korsten, speech pathologist (2011)
We know that communication is a fundamental human right. But do we realize that for many, AAC is the only way to exercise that right? Without an Augmentative and Alternative Communication System many people cannot achieve it; even if they can, or have the capacity and the desire to do so.
A big part of it begins with their environment. They are not conscious of what they can offer. Although they are not professionals, they can encourage and improve AAC. It is important to be aware of this.
AAC should be worked on daily. And with everyone: caretakers, companies, associations, therapists, families, etc. Natural environments such as the home and the usual places we go greatly promote user motivation, facilitating the emergence of communication, understanding, and interaction.
This is why training and continuous service is of the utmost importance. Although sometimes we may not be aware of it, it is vital. We are talking about training and service, not only for the person using an AAC system but also for their environment.
The greatest success stories are those in which everyone (the family and usual environment) is 100% involved, taking on situations for which almost no one is prepared with enthusiasm and consistency.
The important thing in life is the attitude with which we face the things that happen to us. And if those things are difficult, let’s think about how much more satisfaction we will feel in overcoming them.