Young Adults and AAC

Young Adults in the AAC community can be a mixed bag of challenges and abilities! Some young adults come into this phase of their life having used a device for many years and some in this phase of life have an acquired condition that requires them to shift from speech to the use of a device. And sadly many should’ve received a device many years ago but fell through the cracks or are the reality of school systems and SLPs who don’t know enough about AAC to adequately connect individuals with devices.

Areas this group needs support to learn or maintain:

  • Continuing to develop/teach literacy skills
  • Compensatory strategies if they have an acquired condition

  • Assistance in using their device to create meaningful relationships

  • Transitioning between life phases

    • How do they get support once they age out of the K-12 system?

    • What rights do they have in the workplace?

    • Is college a possibility?

General principles to keep in mind with this population:

  • Ask don’t assume!

  • Encourage, foster, and facilitate ways for this age group to interact and participate with same-aged peers whenever possible

  • While they may need help and resources for their device, they also may need counseling and assistance in general life transitions and use their device to help with those transitions not make them harder!