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Augmentative and Alternative Communication assessment

Augmentative and Alternative Communication assessment

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a term used to describe different forms of communication other than speech. AAC can help to support the communication of children who are unable to speak or those with limited communication.

It can either replace communication or assist an individual's use of communication. An assessment is an important part of implementing an AAC system as there are many things that must be considered before deciding which AAC system is most appropriate for each child.

Benefits of an AAC assessment

AAC and the assessment for AAC will benefit anyone that needs another form of communication other than verbal, or needs help communicating using an assistive device. AAC can help provide people with a voice that they have never had or that they have lost. AAC will provide your child with different functions of language and help families and educational staff to communicate with your child in order to meet their needs.

An assessment will allow our therapist to choose the most appropriate AAC system for your child in order to meet theirs and the families goals.

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What will the AAC assessment assess?

The AAC assessment will assess multiple aspects of the child's needs, abilities and goals. At your initial assessment a detailed case history will be taken, including questions on where and when your child tries to communicate, any strategies that they already have in place, your goals and any other issues concerning accessibility can be discussed here.

The speech therapist will then look at the child's physical skills, language skills, communication skills as well as their motivation and interest into communicating with others. It is important that a child is motivated to communicate, otherwise they will not have the enthusiasm to learn how to use their device. It can be difficult to learn how to use a completely new system so both the children, parents and carers must be motivated to communicate with one another. All of these aspects will provide information as to which AAC system is most appropriate for your child.

Optimal seating, positioning and the child's motor ability may also be assessed during the initial assessment depending on their condition.

As a child's AAC system is implemented, part of the therapy is to have a continuous assessment of the child and their use of the device. Other aspects of AAC such as size, type and placement of symbols as well as language input and output options will be continuously monitored and assessed to ensure your child's AAC device is appropriate at all times.

Why is an AAC assessment needed?

There are many types of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems available that each provide different methods of communication at different levels of complexity. These include, lo-tech, light tech and high tech systems. There are also many physical aspects of each child that needs considering on an individual basis to ensure that they have the ability to use the device and effectively communicate using this. Therefore it is important that a thorough and detailed assessment is carried out to provide the child with the system most suitable to them.

Typical conditions that require an AAC assessment

There are many conditions that may lead to a child not having verbal communication or may need an assistive device to help their communication, these include:

Summary

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a replacement or assistance to verbal language for those children that require help to communicate with others effectively. It is important that your child is assessed before buying an AAC device due to the large range of systems available and the skills of your child. AAC is highly beneficial to the child and those that are communicating with them regularly. AAC can provide a voice for your child that they may not have had before or have lost. If you would like any more information on our AAC assessment please do not hesitate to contact office@sltforkids.co.uk or call 0330 088 2298.

Talk to us

If you would like any more information on any of the services we offer or would like to book an appointment, do not hesitate to contact us and one of our team will be happy to help. Email office@sltforkids.co.uk or call 0330 088 2298.

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