BlogTherapyBusting 5 Common Myths About AAC

Busting 5 Common Myths About AAC

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) has numerous benefits. However, many children do not receive AAC services for a very long time. When we provide children with communicative opportunities, it makes them understand the power that lies in communication. And doing so at the earliest age is very important. It gives your child the tools that they need to express their needs, help them to socialize, improve their learning skills and develop language and literacy skills.

It is essential that families, speech pathologists and the AAC community are informed about the various benefits of using an AAC device. Having said that, they must also be educated about the common misconceptions or myths surrounding AAAC and its usage

Research done using AAC, clinical practice experiences and individual experiences have time and again shown that AAC devices are advantageous to promote communication. Let’s go ahead and bust the five common myths.

Myths about AAC #1: My child is too young or not ready to use an AAC

  • Research has shown that the early use of AAC can aid in language development and also increase comprehension and vocabulary skill development in young children.
  • A young child who is unable to communicate their needs is at a risk for delays in cognitive, social and emotional developmental milestones.
  • At this point, it is important to remember that there are no prerequisites for a child to use an AAC. What is also important to note is that children must be provided with as many opportunities as possible to engage in meaningful social communicative.

Myths about AAC #2: AAC hinders speech development.

  • AAC allows children to communicate.
  • We must remember that communication is multi-modal – no person uses a single method alone and we all use multiple cues such as body language, gestures, pictures, written information and speech.
  • In the same way, children with complex communication needs have the right to access the same opportunities to communicate, and much more!
  • Contrary to the myth, AAC, has been found to support and supplement speech development in children. The AAC device also helps children develop and experience successful communication.
  • The AAC device even allows them to put words together to form phrases or sentences and increase their vocabulary when spoken words are difficult.

Myths about AAC #3: AAC is an easier option. If my child uses AAC, he will never talk! It is a last resort!

  • While it might be true that AAC is easier that speech for some, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your child won’t talk. And it is certainly should not be the last resort.
  • Learning to use an AAC device is a process and quite often AAC users take a long time to use it.
  • The earlier you start, the more success a child has, the more motivated they become. If your child wants to use speech, they will do so. In the meantime, it is recommended that they have an AAC device. Otherwise they may be at a risk of developing frustration, emotional outbursts and even depression as a result of not having access to a mode of communication.

myths about AAC

Myths About AAC #4: My child will look different! What if people make fun of her?

  • A child who is non-verbal, or cannot communicate, will appear different.
  • When a child or individual has access to communication, they can express themselves. And when they express themselves, they form better social connections by means of communication. That is the power that communication holds! As a society, we need to accept, acknowledge and normalize all forms of communication.

Myths About AAC #5: Learning AAC is so difficult. How do I start?

  • Learning AAC is not difficult. However, it does require patience and practice. It is recommended to start with a robust high tech AAC device.
  • The general principles of language acquisition or learning apply the same as learning to use the AAC device: have opportunities, have constant access to the AAC device, modelling AAC at home etc.
  • For more information, please get in contact with your child’s speech pathologist. They can help you assess and set up the AAC device for your child. They can also help you to understand how the AAC works and how it can be implemented at home.


Everyone deserves to be heard. Choose the right AAC device for your child. If you have any questions about AAC devices, please contact your child’s speech language pathologist.



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