Augmentative Communication compensates for temporary or permanent impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions of individuals with severe disorders of speech-language production and/or comprehension, including spoken and written modes of communication. Individuals with severe communication disorders and for whom gestural, speech, and/or written communication are temporarily or permanently inadequate to meet all of their communication needs.
Speech may be replaced or augmented by: gesture and body language, manual sign, handwriting, and communication aids. Communication aids are devices developed or adapted for use by children with severe communication impairments. Because these children have very varied skills, needs, and problems, there is a large range of communication aids. Some children can use their hands; others cannot, and have to use alternatives, such as mouth sticks, headsticks, switches or eye-pointing. Some can read and spell; others cannot, and need communication aids on which language elements are represented by pictures or graphic symbols. Our therapists will evaluate each child to determine the best treatment options.
Our Speech Therapists design low tech communication aids for nonverbal patients (i.e. communication boards, communication books) generated with photographs and/or computer programs. Training and practice with high tech communication systems, obtained at an outside facility, is available. Physical and Occupational Therapists are available for consultation regarding positioning and access methods.