AAC · BIRTH THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL

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AAC and the opportunity gap

It's time to move past the “achievement gap” and look for systematic disparities in opportunity among kids who need AAC. 

October 11, 2022

We've talked a lot lately about the inequities in our SLP services (see our #AmIQualified series to start). We know that Black autistic kids are more likely to receive a late or wrong diagnosis, limiting early access to appropriate services. This month's research suggests that even when Black children get access to AAC services, they may receive less therapy than white children. In a retrospective study, Pope et al. looked at service levels reported for kids over the course of two years. They reported that 75% of black and 35% of white preschool children received less than one hour of input weekly (this included all structured AAC input, not just SLP time), which the authors suggest is below the threshold for making meaningful progress. It's a worry that so many are getting so little input at a critical age, but the disproportionality by race is a huge concern…

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