An alternate mode of communication for children with disabilities.
Children with communication difficulties often demonstrate behaviors that interfere with learning and participation in the home, school, and community. Often, the ability to manage behavior not only defines least restrictive environments, but quality of life outcomes. The reauthorization of IDEA dictates that behavioral support plans be considered in each special education student's program (NICHCY, 1998). Technology-based tools and supports, when systematically and consistently implemented can effect positive outcomes through the use of curricular adaptations, behavioral cues, behavioral self-monitoring, and functional communication training (FCT) (Mirenda, 1997). Research has demonstrated that individuals with developmental disabilities and autism have benefited behaviorally from technology-based curricular adaptations (Abrams & Cafiero, 1991), and pictorial self-monitoring (Pierce & Schreibman, 1994).
There are many different communication devices, for all levels of children. Here are some manufacturers.
Sign languages are natural, rich visual-gestural-spatial languages highly developed by Deaf people over the past centuries. Greatly beneficial for many purposes from performances to daily communication. American Sign Language is the 3rd most used language in the U.S.