Friday, October 2, 2015

On AAC Awareness Month

It's October. A lot of things happen in October. It's National Disability Employment Month, AAC Awareness Month, and Halloween on the 31st, which inevitably results in people caricaturing mentally ill people for costumes (please don't).

I'm talking about AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) a bit. I'm not even going into details of a lot of things, just my personal experience. Or lack of experience. AAC was never presented as an option for me.

I talked in pretty much my own language until I was three or four. When we got our first computer, I transcribed rich stories and diaries of my experience, typing better than talking. But I didn't have an autism diagnosis yet. And kids who use vocal speech don't need AAC anyway, right?

Wrong. I may not have full apraxia of speech, but there are times when I just need to type. When my words are coming out wrong and I can't get anything to sound right. Or when I'm having a shutdown or meltdown. Which happens. AAC users should not be questioned on their need for AAC.

Yet I have not even transitioned to being a part-time AAC user. People would just think I'm too “articulate.”

I need it. 

I don't have it. 

I could have used it a long time ago.

So: an affirmation to myself: I deserve it.


Tell me about your AAC experiences?

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