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Augmentative and Alternative Communication: What is it? Will it help my child?

What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication?

Augmentative and Alternative Communication includes the variety of things that represent alternate or supportive systems for spoken communication. This could include gestures, facial expressions, body language, pictures, speech generating devices. AAC is an amazing way to support individuals who are not able to communicate effectively with spoken language. It can also serve as an additional support to help expand language use for an individual.

Is my child ready?

We believe that communication is a fundamental human right. Any individual deserves access to communication regardless of their capacity of functioning. This is part of the Human Rights model of disability practiced by our team. We introduce AAC systems early for individuals struggling to communicate their needs. The best system is established in conjunction with the family. Caregiver education on how to support the use of the system at home is part of our intervention when introducing a system. We don’t believe there are any prerequisites for learning and using an alternative system, or any prerequisites for using a high tech speech generating system.

Many speech generating systems are motivating for clients to use, and encourage the expansion of language. Introducing a device further supports the development of language and speech production skills. It also facilitates the social pragmatics of communication. Children can initiate on their device and respond to communication partners.

Our team has access to the commonly prescribed robust communication systems approved by the Assistive Devices Program. We can trial systems with you, refer you to the larger AAC clinics in the public sector, or support you through the process of independently purchasing the system that is right for your child.

Many of our clients are autistic gestalt language processors. Depending on your child’s language learning style or interests, our team is skilled at programming systems in order to support an individual’s language learning.