AAC Intervention Strategies for Beginning Communicators



Practice Report

  • Lindsey Paden Cargill (Helping Hands Center for Special Needs, Ohio)


Successful intervention for beginning communicators learning to use speech generating devices requires careful consideration of several factors. Team members must choose versatile vocabulary and utilize effective intervention strategies to maximize success. Synthesis of available research and clinician experience will support therapists practicing in this area.


Strategies common in speech/language intervention for verbal children were compared to those for children who are AAC users and utilized with AAC users.


Common speech/language therapy strategies are effective for children who are AAC users but there are some strategies that are different and need to be modified for AAC instruction.


The successes of AAC intervention with beginning communicators using the principles of natural language development and the tested practices of speech and language intervention have beg for further research. Current practice should continue to follow the principles of natural language development rather than default to limiting language functions to manding/requesting of preferred objects.

Level of Session


Age Group



Primary school
Special school