“The Building Blocks of Communication”

 
         
What is AAC?
 
 

AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) consists of all forms of communication besides oral speech used to express needs, wants, and ideas (ASHA, 2004). AAC strategies are beneficial to increase the communication of individuals with complex communication needs. AAC consists of electronic and non-electronic forms of communication that are used to transmit or receive messages. There are a variety of symbols used to communicate such as graphic, auditory, gestural and textured/tactile. These symbols can be divided into two categories: aided (i.e., real objects, pictures, line drawings, orthography) and unaided (i.e., signs, gestures, vocalizations, facial expressions). AAC can be accessed through direct selection, activation strategies (i.e., timed, release, averaged, switch), and scanning. The ultimate goal of AAC is not to find a technological solution to difficulties with communication, instead to enable individuals to efficiently and effectively engage in various interactions with a variety of people in order to participate in activities to their choice (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2005). Research shows that the use of AAC techniques does not inhibit speech production and may even facilitate oral speech. At SLB Therapy, we use a variety of AAC techniques based on each individual’s needs.

  • Visual Schedules
    • Photo schedule
    • Daily schedule
    • Activity schedule
    • First/then picture schedule
    • Turn taking cue
    • Replacement skills cue cards
  • Picture Exchange Communication System
    • This is a behavioral approach that teaches self-initiated requesting with aided symbols. Individuals exchange symbols for desired items rather than pointing to a picture on a communication display. PECS can be as simple as a page with a few pictures of reinforcers and basic wants and needs to a complex communication book with different pages (i.e., food, reinforcers, classwork). Additionally, a GoTalk is an alternative option that includes picture communication in a lightweight portable tool that has the ability to record messages.
  • Dynamic Displays
      • These are computer screen displays with visual symbols and synthesized speech.
    •   iPad applications
      • Proloquo2Go
      • SoundingBoard
      • iComm
      • TouchChat
    • We have had the pleasure of working with DynaVox to grant a dedicated SGD (speech generating device) through Medicaid.  DynaVox provides many AAC device options.
      • T10
      • Maestro
      • Vmax+
      • Eyemax System
      • Xpress
      • M3
      • DynaWrite
    • We have also worked with Forbes Rehab Services Inc. (FRS) to obtain dedicated SGDs through Medicaid. They have a variety of choices for AAC devices.
      • ProSlate
      • WinSlate
      • ComLink LT3G
    • Other AAC companies
      • PRC
      • Saltillo

       

  • Beukelman, D. & Mirenda P. (2005). Augmentative and alternative communication: Supporting children and adults with complex communication needs (3rd Ed.) Baltimore, MA: Paul Brookes Publishing Co.
  • "Special Needs Products." Special Education Software | Mayer-Johnson. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2015.
  • "About DynaVox." Speech Devices. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2015.
  • "AAC Devices | Augmentative Communication Devices | FRS Custom Solutions." AAC Devices | Augmentative Communication Devices | FRS Custom Solutions. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2015.
  • "AAC and Speech Devices from PRC." AAC and Speech Devices from PRC. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2015.
  • "Saltillo." Home -. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2015.
   
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