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Augmentative and Alternative Communication Connecting Young Kids

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Connecting Young Kids (YAACK) is a website that covers issues related to AAC and young children. Its purpose is to provide information and guidance to families, teachers, speech/language pathologists and anyone else who is involved with a child with special communication needs.

It is intended to be easy to understand and practical, and to cover a wide range of topics dealing with AAC and AAC-related issues of children at various ages and stages of communication ability, and with different strengths, disabilities and learning characteristics. YAACK is based on the premise that the purpose of AAC is to assist the child in attaining the quality of life that approaches the level of satisfaction and meaningfulness that would have been possible if the child did not have a communication disability. Therefore, the child's ability to communicate when, where and what is desired is the goal; AAC is just the means. YAACK emphasizes the individuality of each child, and stresses the fact that there is no single solution or set of procedures that will work for every child. Success depends on really getting to know and understand the child, and then developing and implementing a communication program that takes into account his or her unique characteristics.

How is YAACK organized?

YAACK is composed of three main sections. The first, How to get started gives background on AAC, lists specific organizations that provide support and assistance to children with AAC needs and their families, and offers suggestions on how to create and maintain an effective AAC team. The second section, Choosing an AAC system covers the AAC assessment, describes characteristics of and issues relating to the different AAC systems and devices that are in use today, and includes information on how to obtain a device.

The third section, Teaching offers both general tips as well as specific methods and techniques that have proven successful in teaching AAC and AAC-related skills to infants, toddlers and young children with different communication needs.

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Last modified: May 24, 2014