The Ultimate AAC Resource Page

/The Ultimate AAC Resource Page

What is AAC?

AAC stands for augmentative/alternative communication and describes any mode of communication that is not speaking with your mouth.  This may involve pointing to or exchanging pictures, using sign language, using an AAC device that will speak a message when the user pushes a button, or many other forms of communication.

Overview of AAC Podcast Episode

 

Who Uses AAC?

Augmentative and alternative communication is helpful for anyone who has thoughts to communicate but is unable to speak them using his/her own voice.  This includes individuals with diagnoses such as late talker, autism, childhood apraxia of speech, down syndrome, muscle disorders, or any other diagnosis that can cause a child to be unable to speak his thoughts.  AAC isn’t right for every child with these diagnoses but it is definitely something worth trying.  Every child has the right to be given a voice.

Click Here to See what Prerequisite Skills a Child Needs Before Starting AAC

 

Does Using AAC Prevent a Child from Speaking?

After reviewing all of the current research on augmentative and alternative communication in 2006, Millar, D. C., Light, J. C., et al. made the following statement about using AAC:

“The present research review provides important preliminary evidence that augmentative and alternative communication interventions do not inhibit speech production; instead, AAC may also support speech production”

 

How to Get Started Teaching AAC to a Child

Click Here to Learn how to Get Started Using and Teaching AAC to a Child

 

What if He Won’t Use It?

Some children seem less than enthusiastic about using their AAC devices.  Check out this video I created in answer to a question from a member who was working with a child who wasn’t motivated to use his AAC device:

What to Do When a Child Won’t Use his AAC Device

 

What Are the Different Types of AAC?

  • High and Low Tech AAC Systems: Low tech AAC systems can include things like picture boards or simple electronic devices that help a child talk.  High tech augmentative and alternative communication includes the more sophisticated devices that make heavy use of technology.  These are often computer or tablet-like devices where you push a button on a screen and it will either speak a message or open up more choices (like opening a file with many foods when you push “eat”).  These devices can cost thousands of dollars but often insurance will cover part of the cost. Click Here to See Options for Inexpensive AAC Devices and Apps
  • AAC Apps: If you have a tablet device or smart phone like an iPad or iPhone, you can download AAC apps that will turn your phone or tablet into a high tech AAC device.  Although these apps can cost hundreds of dollars, they are much more reasonably-priced than their dedicated-device counterparts.  Click Here for a Review of my Favorite Communication/AAC Apps

 

Can AAC Help a Child with Autism?

Many children with autism have been helped by using augmentative and alternative communication, especially young children who are non-verbal.  Here are some ideas of how you can use AAC with a non-verbal autistic child:

Giving a Voice to Non-Verbal Children with Autism

Using the Picture Exchange Communication System for Children with Autism

 

How Can AAC Help With Behavior Problems?

If your child is demonstrating inappropriate behaviors due to frustration from lack of communication, AAC can be a wonderful option.  This podcast will talk about different options to alleviate behavior problems with communication-delayed children.

Communication-Based Behavior Problems

 

Need More Help with AAC?

Become a member!

Get answers to all of your questions about AAC and more by joining The Speech Therapy Solution, Carrie Clark’s premium membership program.  You’ll get access to all of Carrie’s training videos and printable therapy materials, plus a monthly webinar and an exclusive Facebook group!  Join today!

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AAC Articles by Topic:

Low Tech AAC
High Tech AAC
AAC Instruction

Browse All AAC Articles:

  • child won't use his AAC device

When the Child Won’t Use his AAC Device

By | October 17th, 2016|Categories: AAC Instruction, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Behavior and Sensory Problems, Therapy for Behavior Problems|

  • cheap-easy-to-use-augmentative-and-alternative-communication-aac-devices

Inexpensive AAC Devices and Apps

By | October 17th, 2016|Categories: Apps and Technology, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), High Tech AAC, Low Tech AAC|

  • best-ways-to-use-pecs-with-toddlers

Best Ways to Use PECS with Toddlers

By | October 17th, 2016|Categories: AAC Instruction, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Functional Communication and Nonverbal Children, Late Talker, Low Tech AAC, Therapy for Late Talkers|

  • when-how-and-why-to-use-aac-with-a-child

When, How, and Why to Use AAC with a Child

By | October 10th, 2016|Categories: AAC Instruction, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Functional Communication and Nonverbal Children|

  • how-to-introduce-and-take-data-on-a-new-aac-system%2fdevice

How to Introduce and Take Data on a New AAC System/Device

By | October 3rd, 2016|Categories: AAC Instruction, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Documentation and Data Collection, Functional Communication and Nonverbal Children, Time Savers for Speech Therapists|

  • SOTB8

Teaching Core Vocabulary for AAC Users (Jeff Stepen)

By | February 3rd, 2016|Categories: AAC Instruction, High Tech AAC, Low Tech AAC, Podcast, Storm of the Brains Podcast|

  • principalsofautism

5 Principles of Speech Therapy for Children with Autism

By | September 6th, 2015|Categories: AAC Instruction, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Autism|

  • SOTB2

SOTB2: Non-Verbal Speech Therapy with Guest Host Lauren Laur

By | August 18th, 2015|Categories: AAC Instruction, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Autism, Functional Communication and Nonverbal Children, Late Talker, Podcast, Storm of the Brains Podcast, Therapy for Late Talkers|

  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

How PECS Brings “Speech” to Non-Verbal Children

By | August 12th, 2014|Categories: AAC Instruction, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Autism, Functional Communication and Nonverbal Children, Late Talker, Low Tech AAC|

  • homemade communication board

Easy, Homemade Communication Boards You can Make Yourself

By | August 6th, 2014|Categories: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Autism, CAS Therapy, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Functional Communication and Nonverbal Children, Low Tech AAC|

  • AAC and Autism

Giving a Voice to Non-Verbal Children with Autism: AAC and Autism

By | August 4th, 2014|Categories: AAC Instruction, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Autism, Functional Communication and Nonverbal Children, Late Talker|

  • Communication Apps

Communication Apps: The Best AAC Apps for Kids

By | October 17th, 2013|Categories: Apps and Technology, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), High Tech AAC|

  • sign language flash cards

Sign Language Flash Cards

By | September 2nd, 2013|Categories: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Autism, CAS Therapy, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Flashcards, Free Materials, Functional Communication and Nonverbal Children, Hearing Loss, Low Tech AAC|

  • Speech and Language Kids Podcast

A Parent’s Guide to AAC for Children

By | April 4th, 2013|Categories: AAC Instruction, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), General Resources, Getting Started, Podcast, Speech and Language Kids Podcast|

  • 5 Steps To Teach Your Child To Use An AAC Device

How to Teach AAC Devices to Children

By | March 12th, 2013|Categories: AAC Instruction, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), High Tech AAC|