Should vocabulary choice be based on diagnosis?

We do not believe diagnosis should be a primary consideration when choosing a vocabulary. In our clinical experience, we have found it is not possible to predict communication potential based on diagnosis alone. In fact, it can be harmful to do so. Assumptions about developmental potential can impact communication outcomes. 

Factors influencing communicative success include which words we give people access to and how we teach AAC. Use of core word vocabularies and modeling are two strategies that are successful across diagnoses.

Some app and vocabulary developers say that features of their system are beneficial for users with a certain diagnosis. That does not guarantee there is evidence that system better meets that group's needs than a system that does not make such a claim. We and several other developers have chosen not to describe our app or vocabulary as best for a particular diagnosis. We believe that Proloquo2Go and the Intermediate and Advanced Core levels of Crescendo can work well for users with a wide range of diagnoses. These include autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, developmental apraxia of speech, and Angelman syndrome.

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