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Nonverbal children and electronic assisted-communication devices

Some disabilities leave children facing difficulties when it comes to learning to talk. Being nonverbal can pose significant challenges to a child. This includes at school. So, what aids a nonverbal child has with them when at school can matter a lot.

One aid that some are finding to be helpful for kids who are nonverbal are electronic assisted-communication devices. These devices, which provide alternate communication methods for nonverbal kids, can take a variety of forms. They could be a smartphone or similar device with a specialty app loaded to it. Or they could be a dedicated device aimed solely at helping a kid with communicating. Such devices can also vary greatly in the features they contain, based on the unique needs of a child.

Among the helpful things it has been noted that these devices have the potential to do for nonverbal children are:

  • Help them with learning how to communicate.
  • Provide them with an alternate way of communicating that is relatively free of stigma. Electronic devices are so common these days that the risk of them causing a child to feel stigmatized is lower than it might be for some other types of assistive devices.
  • Help them with behavioral issues. Providing nonverbal kids with an alternate way of communicating could help such kids steer clear of acting out to try to communicate their needs and desires.

Given this, one wonders what will happen with the development of such devices in upcoming years. One wonders how common use of these devices, including use of them at school, will come to be among nonverbal children.

Nonverbal children are one of the many types of special needs students who might use assistive devices, such as electronic devices, to help them with the difficulties posed by their condition. So, issues regarding what assistive devices a kid will have with them at school, and how use of these devices will be incorporated into the child’s overall school experience, are among the issues that can be important ones in an IEP. Education lawyers can help parents with addressing device-related issues and other important issues for their special needs child in IEP-connected interactions with their child’s school.

Source: Disability Scoop, “Electronic Devices Help Nonverbal Kids Find Their Voice,” Pam Adams, June 27, 2017

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