October is AAC Awareness Month!
By: Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
October is International Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) month!
What is AAC?
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas.
Who uses AAC?
People with severe speech or language problems rely on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. These people may include people who are non-verbal for a variety of reasons (childhood apraxia of speech, autism, cerebral palsy, dual sensory impairments, genetic syndromes, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, hearing impairment, disease, stroke, head injury, etc…).
What are the different types of AAC?
The user relies on his/her body to convey messages. Examples include gestures, body language, and/or sign language.
The user relies on tools or equipment in addition to his/her body. These methods range from simple picture communication books to high-tech communication devices (speech generating devices), which may include communication apps designed for use on tablet devices.
How do I know if AAC is right for my child/loved one?
AAC might be a good option for your child/loved one if he/she presents with a severe expressive communication impairment that interferes with or prevents with development and use of oral language. An SLP who is trained in AAC will help you explore the options available and decide if AAC is a viable choice.
Augmentative/Alternative Communication is a great option to allow individual’s with communication disabilities the opportunity to communicate his/her thoughts/wants/needs. It does not have to take the place of oral speech, but can be used to augment existing speech or aid in communication as oral speech develops. If you wonder if your child/loved one is a good candidate for AAC, please do not hesitate to contact a local SLP to discuss the options that are available!
To schedule a screening or assessment please contact Golden Speech Therapy today.
Golden Speech Therapy
Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
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