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
A Talking With Tech interview with Alyssa Hillary Zisk
Find a number of AAC users in different circumstances and situations and get to know their experiences and perspective
Youtube video shared by Kit Autie
Session from AAC in the Cloud by Chloe Rothschild & Lydia Wayman
Session from AAC in the Cloud by tuttleturtle