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Language Development using a Multi-modality Communication Strategy for a Child with Intellectual Disabilities

Personal Experience
  • Elvira Sancho
  • Marc Coronas
  • Carme Rosell
  • Carme Jariod
  • Emili Soro-Camats

Communicative competence is fundamental for the cognitive, social and personal development of children. AAC systems can promote this development. This session presents the procedures, progression and results over seven years of using multi-modal AAC with a child with intellectual disabilities and severe speech impairment.


Using multiple AAC systems allows the most suitable one to be selected based on context and the child’s developmental stage. Generalization to other systems follows. The importance and role of the Assessment Centre for coordinating and advising on the communication procedures is discussed. Examples and videos illustrate the development and usage of materials: communication boards, speech-generating devices, adapted books and a windows based tablet used as a speech communication device.


Through qualitative analysis of daily experiences, we present the results of his improvement in understanding and expression. But more importantly, we see how the ability to communicate has affected his cognitive capabilities, behaviour, autonomy, self confidence, and the relationship with his family and school. 


A multisystem approach provides children with a greater ability to cover their different communication, cognitive and social needs. The coordination between professionals, the school and family facilitates the entire learning process, the generalisation of the language as well as inclusion in a mainstream school.

Download Handout (pdf 3.2MB)