Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) Services

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Augmentative and alternative communication includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants and ideas.

The Augmentative and Alternative Communication Program is an outpatient and hospital-based program providing comprehensive augmentative/alternative communication evaluations and treatment for adults and children who are nonspeaking or whose speech is severely impaired.

Our team of speech-language pathologists collaborates with occupational and physical therapists in offering consultations for patients with limited movement that impacts their access to alternative forms of communication. Our goal is to assist patients in communicating functionally in their daily lives by using alternative communication devices or methods to augment their current communication ability. We also provide guidance with message banking and assist patients with voice banking.

Among those who may benefit are patients affected by:

  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/primary lateral sclerosis (PLS)                              
  • autism
  • cerebral palsy
  • cleft palate
  • Down syndrome
  • developmental delay
  • muscular dystrophy
  • stroke and other neurological disorders
  • traumatic brain injury

The AAC program provides:

  • a speech-language pathologist with expertise in augmentative and alternative communication.
  • assessment of the patient’s current communication profile.
  • the opportunity to use communication devices in our AAC lab.
  • recommendations to enhance the patient’s communication abilities.
  • careful consideration of input from both the patient and family members/caregivers is part of the decision process.
  • communication options ranging from picture exchange to sophisticated speech-generating devices, based on patient’s skills and needs.
  • individual therapy to guide patients and families in implementing strategies as needed
  • training on and programming of speech-generating devices. 

Learn more about outpatient rehabilitation services at Lifespan »