Black children with complex communication needs face educational deficits | Panda Anku

Augmentative and alternative communication

According to the researchers, the term “complex communication needs” refers to all states in which people are unable to meet their communication needs with language alone. 70% of children with complex communication needs have been diagnosed with a developmental delay or autism spectrum disorder. For people with complex communication needs, AAC can provide more accurate and comprehensive communication.

AAC can include any device or technology that people use to augment or replace speech. In recent years, tablets like iPads and other technological advances have expanded the number of AAC tools available, allowing children with complex communication needs to select symbols or words from a display, or spell words that the device repeats out loud. These technological advances have greatly expanded the accessibility of communication aids for children with complex communication needs.

Proper AAC training can literally change a child’s ability to communicate. Research has shown that during pre-school and lower primary school, access to UK-based instruction is critical to supporting a child’s school attendance, social development and communication, and impacts their outcomes later in life.

The Racial Gap in Opportunity

Researchers examined two waves of publicly available data on 78 children with complex communication needs. One wave was collected during preschool, and another wave was collected two years later. At both time points, teachers reported the amount of supported supported instruction each student received per week. At the start of the study, 63% of white students received 90 minutes or more of assisted instruction each week. However, this level of instruction was only reported for 29% of black students.

“Without early access to AAC, children with complex communication needs lack effective ways to communicate and are severely limited in their participation in education, family life, and community activities,” said Light, co-author of the article. “They are vulnerable in all aspects of development and are falling further and further behind their peers. Early UK instruction is essential to improve communication, strengthen language learning, increase participation in daily activities, improve language and reduce the challenging behaviors that occur when children are unable to communicate.”

At the end of the study, the amount of UK tuition children received was even less. Two years after the first measurement in preschool, 52% of white students were receiving 90 minutes or more of assisted instruction each week. This level of instruction was reported for only 25% of black students.

Disturbingly, the researchers said, by the end of the study, 75% of black children were receiving fewer than 60 minutes of AAC per week. Previous research has shown that addressing the needs of these students requires at least 60 minutes per week.

“It is well known among researchers that racial disparities in educational opportunities, instruction and outcomes are very common,” said Pope, the article’s lead author. “Not surprisingly, the same pattern emerged when using assisted communications. These data are consistent with the pattern observed across all levels of education. That’s when we decided it was time to ring the alarm bell, so to speak.”

prompt for self-examination

The article provides specific recommendations for practitioners, administrators, researchers, prep programs, and professional organizations. In particular, the researchers suggest that professionals who provide services to young students with complex communication needs, as well as the organizations that train them, review their programs to determine if there is a racial imbalance in the services they provide. According to the researchers, an audit would not take much time or money, but it could help identify opportunities to improve the equity of services.

“Most speech-language pathologists and educators really want to serve all children equally,” Pope said. “Hopefully, these results will inspire practitioners to review their work to identify racial discrepancies. Understanding if a problem exists is the first step to fixing that problem.”

Pope said the researchers wrote the article to raise awareness of racial inequalities in accessing services for students who use AAC. The researchers said they believe that if the professionals and organizations conduct these equity reviews, it could be a step toward educational equity for all children, which could lead to more children engaging in clear and effective communication throughout their lives .

This research was funded by the US Department of Education and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research.

Leave a Comment