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Analysis of Communication Therapy (Essay Sample)


the paper focussed on technological advancements that have recently assisted in communication strategies.


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Analysis of Communication Therapy
Communication is the process of passing information from one person to another, where they can convey their thoughts into spoken words. Communication helps to socialize with friends and family, make requests and interact in daily situations. Speech is the primary use of verbal communication, although many individuals are multi-modal communicators. It means they usually communicate through facial expressions, body language, gestures, and other non-verbal communication forms. However, some specific individuals do not use speech to speak; they need to use divergent communication methods to interact with different surroundings. The process is known as augmentative and alternative communication. There are various ways to meet these individuals' communication needs, supporting them with comprehension and expression. For example, it can be long-term, assisting those with a learning disability or cerebral palsy, and short-term, recovering from an illness. It illustrates that individuals with this type of communication tend to be diverse, with personnel wanting different types of augmentative and alternative communication based on their needs and abilities. The development in technology has allowed many individuals to communicate more efficiently with others and has enabled people to understand the importance of technology in supporting people who need AAC.
The development of AAC across the century has consistently improved by adapting and developing innovation in the sector. However, in a decade, there has been a rapid growth in the AAC types of equipment (Abudarham & Hurd 2002, np). It has been made possible by the new legislation put in place by the government and technological advancement, which has enabled the emergence of AAC. Advanced voice-output communication aids have mainly been considered a factor in the development, for example, physical abilities. It primarily depends on the individual ability. For instance, the eye gaze equipment tends to be appropriate to specific clients with multiple sclerosis. Language abilities, cognitive skills, and sensory abilities are the primary drivers of these communication needs. Before the development of advanced technology, there was only British sign language. It provided a way of communication, although it was not available to all users due to learning the sign language, the client’s cognitive and physical abilities, and absence of voice output (Albis & Reed 2012, p. 45). However, it evolved to communicate with symbols and boards and was recognized as an effective way for both adults and children to communicate their needs. Examples of these tools include Super Talker, talking mats, and core vocabulary. Advancing from paper-based equipment technology has created room for the development of multi-step message devices. The technologies within these AAC devices allow the individuals to record messages and contain vital words used in their day–to–day activities. Also, using these devices can enable a person to communicate a story or give instructions accordingly. It ensures that the individual has an opportunity to share ideas independently and in the most naturalistic ways, bearing in mind that it’s not their original voice. A device such as WhilstGoTalk contains several different pages with divergent vocabulary that these individuals can use for many occasions. It can be a valuable indicator to see whether the person can cope with many languages. Many devices have been made to meet individual’s needs and thus assisting in their activities.
Although the low and medium-tech voice output communication aids are effective in supporting clients, the development of advanced technology has the opportunity to assist individuals with complex communication needs (Aronson et al., 2021, np). The products of the iPad and iphone have created room for communication apps to be developed. Many apps develop from simple to complex speech. ChatAble is an example of an app that includes sound effects and voice options used mainly by banks on clients with degenerative conditions. It allows the individual to speak with their voice wherever the places they are, for instance, universities and colleges. There are vocabulary packages developed using switches, where it contains categories with different forms of grammar which allows the individuals to produce grammatically correct sentences while in a conversation. An advantage to these apps is that they may be transferred and used on computers, laptops, and other electronic devices. For the few who do not have the physical ability to do so, the adaptation of technology has made eye gaze pieces of equipment accessible. The transformations provide independence to the individuals who use the devices daily. (Battye, 2018, np). It has also benefitted these individuals by enabling them to attend learning facilities, communicating ideas, and asking questions.
Additionally, technology development has consisted of supporting children and adults with other communication models, including writing. Text-to-speech software supports individuals with writing skills, where they write or type their sentences, and the software reads it out loud (Worah et al., 2015, p. 465). It has generally developed with more clients using it, as it provides a sense of identity for the individuals and helps in communicating. Technology has created further support for the people by enabling creating websites that keep information and templates used for particular AAC types of equipment. Technology is improving where new communication aids are generally adapting to meet the needs. In need of effective communication, future developments should improve users' access to communication content and speech.
Whereas using symbol-based voice output communication aids in the classroom setting, there are several opposing sides of their use, although most are the benefits. One of the most known benefits of using it is that they have their voice. Therefore, the individual can communicate effectively (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2012, np). The issue of voice to suit the client's need is of concern, thus upholding their sense of belonging. Additionally, these devices do not consume too much energy; therefore, the charging time is less, making it possible to use them throughout the day in different lessons. They are also durable; therefore, they can be used for several years without going faulty. It will reduce the costs of replacing the device. It provides the child the chance to make the device personal, thus adding a colourful frame, which allows them to customize, making them a little more comfortable (Bradshaw, 2013, p. 35).
On the contrary, several aspects of communication are affected by advancements in technology. These include the rate of speech becomes slower, making conversations last longer. It becomes more complicated where there is limited vocabulary in the device, affecting even the flow of speech, attention, and generally changing discussion topics. Although it may not be functional, it is an advancement compared to the paper-based because the conversation is better enhanced. However, when the tutor speaks to the students, they tend to give the child time to formulate and process a response; thus, they become brave and confident. On the other hand, when speaking to the child's peers, they might not know how to communicate with others effectively; thus, emphasizing the importance of awareness among the pupils to establish the most natural and meaningful conversations. A grammatical error in a sentence makes it hard for an individual to pronounce, thus making a conversation difficult to continue. Research has proven that using grammatically incomplete AAC devices with other means of communication, such as gestures, may allow the child to get the needs met and communicate with a partner to listen and concentrate on their non-verbal communication (Caron, Light & Drager, 2016, p. 20). Learning becomes a difficult situation in the classroom for children who find non-verbal communication a challenge. Therefore to create a stable learning environment, these children should have an assistant in the classroom will help in communication. Symbol-based practices tend to have a limited vocabulary level, and therefore it makes it difficult to only prioritizing the essential communications situations, neglecting the overall surrounding. It can cause frustrations to the child because they cannot maintain a conversation or ask questions in the classroom. The bilingual children tend to have a complicated time as many AAC devices may not have a voice output through their first language. It can significantly impact language and communication development where developing a social relationship with fellow peers becomes hard.
In comparison, paper-based symbol AAC devices do not require electricity or batteries to operate; therefore, the need to charge is not an issue. However, while using a paper-based AAC usually requires the individual to point, touch, and grab symbols to convey a message, this is to imply that an individual's physical abilities are a crucial aspect of using the AAC devices (Hanson, Beukelman & Yorkston, 2013, p. 39). The paper-based symbols are mainly used when requesting something from a tutor, while images possibly show something's actions. Symbol communication systems are simple and consist of clear and concrete pictures which are easy to express needs. With these symbols, it is apparent to recognize the child's symbolic development and assess their symbol iconicity due to characters ranging from simple to complex....

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