Presentation on theme: "Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)."— Presentation transcript:
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Augmentative and Alternative Communication Definition of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) –AAC refers to the communication that is supplemented when an individual is not able to speak typically
AAC includes unaided communication No external device is needed Speech attempts Use of Gestures –Facial –Body movement and orientation –Arm and hand gestures –Eye gaze –Pointing
AAC also includes aided communication External device or equipment is used Use of recorded speech on an electronic device Use of synthesized speech on an electronic device Typing with visual display and/or speech generation
Individuals who use AAC will communicate in many ways. Multisystem communication refers to the many ways an individual communicates –Gesture –Speech –Eye gaze –Voice output with single words made into sentences –Voice output with full sentences –Typing single words
A person who uses AAC will learn to select the most effective way to communicate given these conditions: Message Listener Environment Tools available Experience with tools Current state (e.g. energy level)
A device may be used to produce speech that listeners can hear. Examples of AAC devices include: DynaVox devices PRC devices Words+ devices AbleNet devices AdamLab devices Adaptivation devices Blink-Twice devices Many, many more
Students who use AAC often benefit from devices that produce speech Vocabulary is easy to store and access allowing students to speak their own word combinations Speech gets the attention of listeners Social communication is readily accessible It is easy to store and access full stories (a very important part of social communication)
Students can begin to use AAC at any time A student can begin to use AAC as soon as he/she appears to be at high risk for not developing typical, understandable speech Early introduction of AAC often includes use of visual or tactile symbols paired with adult speech to help the child learn the representations
There are no prerequisites for AAC Children do not have to “wait until they are ready” to have communication supported through AAC There are no skills that a child must have before being introduced to AAC
Many children use AAC There are many conditions and disabilities that can make typical speech and language difficult. –Cerebral palsy –Severe apraxia –Severe dysarthria –Language disorders –Unmanaged nasality
AAC does not take the place of speech and children who use AAC do not stop talking Many students who use AAC continue to work on oral speech skills AAC can serve as a “bridge” to oral communication for some students Each student will have an individual response to AAC and the effects on oral speech production will be monitored
The IEP team makes AAC decisions in the school. The team should include the student, family, SLP, teachers and administrators. Other important team members can include the PT, OT, school nurse and others knowledgeable about a child’s communication.
How are AAC decisions made? Data from appropriate device trials is collected along with observations and reports from people familiar with the child’s communication. Information about a student’s needs are considered related to language representation, access and other important information related to device selection. Decisions regarding device selection are data- driven. However, student and family preferences are considered.
The IEP If a device is not included in the IEP, then it is not the responsibility of the school district to provide it. If a device is included in the IEP, the district must provide it.
It is very important for the IEP team to consider and then to make appropriate decisions regarding the need for AAC and to document those decisions in the IEP. Even if the device is provided by an outside agency, parent or other funding source, it is the responsibility to include AAC in the IEP if it is necessary for a student to receive a free and appropriate public education.
Who pays for AAC? If the device is included in the IEP, the school district must provide it. The school district is responsible to provide the device – including costs associated with maintenance and repair. There should be not cost to parents. The parent may use medical insurance to pay for the device but they are under no obligation to do so.
Staff needs to know: Strategies for AAC development Information specific to the device (maintenance, functioning, repair,etc.) Language stimulation techniques How to systematically teach language and communication in meaningful contexts
How to integrate AAC and Literacy development How to collect data on communication skills How to provide interventions based on data collection How to develop and use backup systems
How will other students benefit from AAC? AAC is very student-specific and most students will not use the AAC device Some students may benefit from communication supports that are often used by teachers interacting with children who use AAC (e.g. picture displays) Students will gain familiarity with AAC and see that students using AAC are competent students. Opportunities for genuine friendships are possible when a student’s communication is supported through AAC.
Where can I get more information? Web search terms: Augmentative and Alternative Communication Communication Devices Voice output communication devices Speech-generating devices.
Websites for more information: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association www.asha.orgwww.asha.org International Society for AAC www.isaac.orgwww.isaac.org United States Society for AAC www.ussaac.org www.ussaac.org AAC Institute www.aacinstitute.orgwww.aacinstitute.org Augmentative and Alternative Communication Connecting Young Kids http://aac.unl.edu/yaack/ http://aac.unl.edu/yaack/ AAC Intervention http://www.aacintervention.com/