Augmentative & Alternative Communication Fredericksburg & Woodbridge, VA

Augmentative & Alternative Communication

What is AAC?

AAC stands for augmentative and alternative communication. It includes all forms of communication that is not verbal speech, including gestures, facial expressions, signs, pictures, and symbols.

AAC devices includes a variety of systems such as:

  • no/low-tech (i.e. signing, simple communication boards)
  • mid-tech (i.e. single message switches)
  • high-tech systems (i.e. speech generating devices with dynamic displays).
  • AAC devices can significantly increase an individual’s ability to communicate
    their wants and needs, social interaction, and improved feelings of self-worth.

Who would benefit from AAC?

  • Individuals with severe communication disorder
  • Individuals without consistent means of communication across settings, communication
    partners, or communicative functions (i.e. requesting, commenting, directing activities)
  • AAC assists individuals with significant behaviors, as it can help reduce frequency and
    severity of challenging behavior.

Dependence on AAC Device instead of Verbal Speech

  • A speech generating device can provide additional sensory feedback that enhances the
    child’s ability to learn language.
  • AAC correlates with improved natural speech since it provides opportunities to children
    to repeat what is said on their AAC device.
  • AAC can help to support speaking individuals when sick, tired, or under stress.

Social Communication with Peers and AAC

  • AAC may enhance child’s social interaction with others such as greeting, commenting,
    asking a question, or making a joke.
  • Without their AAC system, access to these communication function can be denied to
    individuals, which could further isolate them from their peers.

Skill Level needed to use an AAC system?

  • No prerequisites for using an AAC system.
  • Benefits a variety of individuals with a wide range of skills including children with
    severe cognitive
  • Supports an individual’s communication needs for short or long periods of time

How to get an AAC Evaluation

  • Call for an appointment with one of our speech and language pathologist with a
    referral/script from the referring physician.
  • The speech and language pathologist will complete the evaluation using variety of AAC
    systems per individual child’s needs such as receptive language, expressive language,
    social language, and overall communication abilities. She will also consider trial systems
    that best meet the needs of your child.
  • Once a device is finalized the insurance company is contacted for its procurement

For more information, Contact us at Fredericksburg & Woodbridge, VA centers.