Many parents are concerned that using an AAC system will prevent their child from developing speech. Although not all children will develop speech after using an AAC system, AAC does NOT interfere with the development of oral speech skills. In fact, AAC can actually help with the development of oral speech.
Current research states that AAC stimulates the development of oral speech by giving the child more opportunities to participate in communication and hear the correct production of sounds. AAC also helps the development of language because it often combines a picture with a word. This helps the child understand what the word means. It also helps the child expressively by using longer, more complex sentences, and it also can teach the child to use correct grammatical structures. Finally, AAC takes the pressure of speaking off children who have trouble with the physical demands of speech production.
Children know that speech is a faster and better form of communication. Therefore, the child will begin to use speech instead of AAC when he or she develops the required oral-motor skills for speech.