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Does My Child Need AAC? (Part 2)

Posted by: Melissa Cooprider, MS, CCC-SLP – Speech Language Pathologist – UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders

In last week’s blog post, I talked a little about augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Below are some useful tips to help you determine if AAC would help your family:

  • AAC may be helpful to people who are functionally nonverbal, meaning individuals who cannot express basic wants, needs and ideas using spoken language.
  • AAC refers to any type of device or system used to supplement verbal communication.
  • AAC includes picture symbol cards, communication books, traditional communication devices, as well as iPods or iPads loaded with AAC software.
  • Children and adults who have developmental delays, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and severe dysarthria or apraxia may be candidates for AAC.
  • Just as we model language and teach children to use speech and language, we must also teach the use of AAC. Understanding that picture symbols can represent objects, ideas and concepts is not always instinctive. Before introducing forms of AAC to your child, experts recommend having his or her communication strengths and needs evaluated by a speech-language pathologist who specializes in AAC.
  • To request an AAC evaluation at the Callier Center, please call 972-883-3630.

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