Listening to Autistic, Adult AAC Users

Apr 18, 2023

April is World Autism Month and we are happy to have the opportunity to focus on the voices of Autistic AAC users and get their insight and perspective on communication.

While the practical insights and wisdom shared by professionals like speech therapists, teachers, and assistive technology specialists is very valuable in supporting AAC communicators, the lived experience of adults with Autism who use AAC is irreplaceable.

Having navigated the world of childhood neurodivergence themselves, their perception and perspective is essential when seeking to understand and encourage Autistic AAC users.

Every person is different and every communicator has unique strengths and needs.  The viewpoint of those who have faced similar obstacles often helps others gain a clearer perspective and adjust their frame of reference to better understand why a person might think, feel, or behave a certain way.

Just as we would talk to a farmer to better understand farming, an engineer to understand engineering, or a dancer to understand dancing we should seek out Autistic AAC users to understand autism and AAC communication.

Want to get started listening to adult Autistic AAC voices?  Here are a few sources we would recommend.

“Everyone Deserves AAC”: Preliminary Study of the Experiences of Speaking Autistic Adults Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication

A wonderful piece from ASHAWire by Amy Donaldson, endever* corbin, and Jamie McCoy

Alyssa Hillary Zisk: Adults With Autism Who Use AAC Part-Time

A Talking With Tech interview with Alyssa Hillary Zisk

Personal Writings of AAC Users from Everyone Communicates

Find a number of AAC users in different circumstances and situations and get to know their experiences and perspective

Using AAC as an Autistic Person

Youtube video shared by Kit Autie

AAC & Verbal Individuals: How AAC Impacted Our Lives

Session from AAC in the Cloud by Chloe Rothschild & Lydia Wayman

AAC is Everything and Everything is AAC

Session from AAC in the Cloud by tuttleturtle

Melissa DeMoux

Former CoughDrop Director of Marketing and Support -- worked with AAC communicators & teams