Augmentative and alternative communication, or AAC, is a term that’s used to describe various methods of communication that can help people who are unable to use verbal speech to communicate. AAC methods vary and may be personalized to meet each individual’s needs.
At Therapyland, we provide comprehensive Augmentative and Alternative Communication Assessments as well as treatment utilizing the AAC device.
An AAC assessment begins with the recognition that a person has communication difficulties which might be helped by communication aids or systems. An AAC assessment ends with recommendations for the individual – and perhaps for their environment. The time taken and the number of people involved varies widely according to the complexity of the individual’s needs and abilities. Also, the process may need to be repeated over time because technology and techniques develop, and a person’s needs may change.
There will be lots of talking about the needs of the individual and the opportunity to try different low and high tech devices, as well as a variety of languages. It is not always possible to make a definite recommendation at the end of an assessment visit, but often equipment may be trialed following the assessment. This is part of the assessment process as well.
Once the person who needs AAC has trialed equipment and strategies and everyone is in agreement, a recommendation will be made for the low or high tech device to be provided for the individual.
If a high tech device is being recommended, our therapists will submit the necessary documents to the funding department for that device. Once you receive your device, we will provide the necessary set up and training to the child and persons who will be interacting with the child. This may include modifications to the software, language or device itself. We will also properly train you on how to model on the device for the child to learn how to utilize it.
The following are general indicators that a child may benefit from an AAC Evaluation and treatment:
- limited or no speech
- difficulty producing verbal speech
- struggling with oral communication
- speech that is difficult to understand
- communication with gestures, eye gaze, or using strategies other than word production