• Melissa Donovan

Did you know May is Better Speech and Hearing Month?

In honor of better speech and hearing month, Garden State AAC Specialists would like to share about the benefits of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

Question 1: What is AAC?

AAC stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. AAC is implemented when verbal speech is not meeting the communication needs of the child. AAC is used to supplement limited speech. AAC takes many forms: sign language, picture boards, apps on the iPad, tactile symbols and so much more.

Question 2: Why should I consider an AAC system?

AAC helps give children with communication challenges a way to communicate in an appropriate manner. AAC systems reduce frustrations and behaviors caused by communication breakdowns. AAC systems also assist in the growth of receptive and expressive language skills. Language is learned through modeling, and when we have an AAC system to model on, language skills have the opportunity to grow!

Questions 3: How do I get my child an AAC system?

An evaluation conducted by a trained speech language pathologist who specializes in the area of augmentative and alternative communication. The evaluation should look at current means of communication and skills that the child has and match that child to the best communication system. During the evaluation multiple apps or systems should be tried, and in multiple environments. A thorough evaluation consists of a trial period and the input from family members, educators, and other individuals in the child's life.

Question 4: I have an AAC system, now what?

MODEL, MODEL, MODEL! The AAC system is your child's language. Language is learned through modeling! Give yourself a chance to become familiar with your child's AAC system and begin to model one to two words of what you are verbally saying on their communication system. This shows your child 1) I am using your "talker", it is a form of communication, 2) Where vocabulary is 3) The context in which vocabulary/language is used. Give your child as many opportunities throughout the day to use their system and remember to respond when they use it!

This month we celebrate COMMUNICATION! At Garden State AAC we are lucky to be a part of your family!  We can't wait to see what your child will communicate about! 

#BHSM #AACAwareness #AugmentativeAndAlternativeCommunication

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