Thoughts on Grammar Intervention in AAC
In this article, I propose that, for several reasons, grammar should be an early focus of communication interventions for young children using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. The basic goals for such programs should be to facilitate the child’s comprehension of the language of the community, or the target language, thus leading the way to literacy, and to foster the child’s use of symbol combinations that mirror the grammatical patterns of speaking children acquiring the target language, even if they cannot be fully grammatically complete. I introduce five principles that underlie most successful approaches to grammar interventions with children with specific language impairment. My initial attempts to apply these principles to interventions with children with complex communication needs indicate that they may be of considerable value to clinicians planning intervention programs. On the other hand, the challenges posed by the intellectual and physical limitations of many AAC users and their communication systems make it necessary to modify at least Principle 5 if the basic goals of intervention are to be met.