Continuum of Communication
1. Age Relevance
Language samples taken from children, teens and adults show that there are major differences in the needs, interests, environments and communication roles of the different age groups. As we age the purpose for which we use communication changes and thus should be reflected in our vocabulary. In addition, while many individuals may talk about some of the same things, they may say them differently depending on their age group or the environment within which they are speaking.
2. Communication Environment
Communication environments are the everyday situations where interaction with others can occur. An environment could be a place, like the library. An environment could be an event, like a birthday party. An environment could even be a standing obligation like the workplace. The environments in which we participate will have an impact on the type of communication messages that we use in those settings. InterAACt provides the right vocabulary to support interaction in many everyday environments.
3. Communication Ability
InterAACt strives to provide the appropriate vocabulary needed for successful interaction for communicators of all language ability levels, including individuals who are:
An Emergent Communicator:
• Benefits from the support of communication partners
• Is beginning to use simple and concrete symbols
• Communicates best in familiar or motivating activities
A Context Dependent Communicator:
• Uses symbols spontaneously to communicate basic needs and wants
• Is starting to understand more abstract symbols (e.g. hot)
• Is beginning to developing basic literacy skills (e.g. letter names and sounds)
An Independent Communicator:
• Has literacy skills that are on par with same-age peers
• Is able to talk about a broad range of age-appropriate topic in flexible ways
• Combines single words, spelling, phrases and complete sentences to create novel messages.
Please Note: Independent communication is based on age appropriateness of skills. For example, a three-year-old child can be independent, but not reading yet because it is not age appropriate.
The InterAACt guide can help identify the communication ability level of the individual with complex communication needs. The information you gather will guide you to the most appropriate user and page set on any DynaVox product. As you read the statements listed under each communication ability level, mark each one that best describes the current communication characteristics of your client or loved one. Download Guide