What is AAC?
AAC is a term used to describe any method of communication that adds to or “augments” speech. This can include anything from signs and gestures, to picture symbols or even high-tech devices involving computer technology.
Will AAC impact language development?
The use of AAC will not delay or impede language development, and often can help improve spoken language. It also allows for many individuals to express themselves fully when spoken language may be difficult.
Who uses AAC?
Anyone who has difficulty expressing themselves via spoken language may benefit from AAC. AAC users may have limited spoken language, unclear speech, or find spoken language difficult in social settings. The cause of the communication impairment may be present at birth (autism or cerebral palsy), occurring later in life due to injury or illness (stroke or head injury), or may worsen throughout the person’s life.
How do I know if AAC is right for my child?
Your child’s speech-language pathologist (SLP) can help guide you through the decision process. You may notice that your child is already using simple AAC such as signs and gestures in his therapy sessions. If a more robust system would be beneficial for your child, your child’s SLP may recommend a more comprehensive evaluation in which various professionals can help select the most appropriate system.
Meryl Schnapp M.A., CCC-SLP