Augmentative Communication

  • 3 images 2 men working, volunteer with boy, counselor with child on playground

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) refers to methods of communication used to help those who are unable to speak or write in a manner in which others can understand them. These methods include picture-based communication boards or books, simple devices with pictures that speak when pressed and higher technology speech generating devices or tablets.

Easterseals Crossroads has speech-language pathologists with specialized training and experience in Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Our staff members are recognized statewide and work closely with your family to determine the most appropriate device for your child and help them use it successfully through our Children’s Therapy Services.

Program Services

AAC services at Easterseals Crossroads are individualized for the child and may include:

Evaluation

A pre-admission packet completed by the individual, staff or family prior to the initial visit is used to develop an evaluation targeted specifically to the individual’s needs. Components may include:

  • Seating/positioning for communication
  • Current/future communication needs
  • Language comprehension (understanding)
  • Ways to access and carry a device
  • Trial with different types and levels of communication systems

Recommendations

A comprehensive written report summarizes specific recommendations such as:

  • Appropriate device for rental or purchase
  • Specific readiness skills and strategies for developing skills
  • Possible funding options
  • Development of a medical funding proposal or letter of medical necessity, as appropriate
  • Case management and periodic ongoing support services such as repairs
  • Any necessary wheelchair modifications for best access to communication system and methods for carrying the system

Training

Training opportunities are available for the child, families, caregivers and professionals. Training may include:

  • Initial communication system set-up
  • Vocabulary selection/graphic representation
  • Programming/troubleshooting for communication devices
  • Creating communication situations for practice
  • Ongoing communication therapy

Consultation

The following consultation services for continued support are available:

  • Resource information regarding augmentative communication
  • Information and recommendations about other types of assistive technology
  • Support and collaboration with our assistive technology specialists, therapists and/or other professionals

For information about augmentative and alternative communication services, please contact us.