Augmentative and Alternative Communication
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) defines
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) defines Augmentative and Alternative Communication or AAC as: an area of clinical practice that addresses the needs of individuals with significant and complex communication disorders characterized by impairments in speech-language production and/or comprehension, including spoken and written modes of communication.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication or AAC includes a variety of items that can be used to supplement speech. These may include low-tech options (e.g., visuals, communication boards, PECS books, etc.) and/or high-tech options (e.g., voice output devices, tablets, etc.). AAC is often used as a visual and/or verbal model for your child to promote an increase in communication skills, such as: greeting, requesting, protesting, and more. It is important to note that the goal of AAC is not to replace verbal speech but rather supplement language to promote growth in the areas of comprehension and expression. Often, an AAC device is paired with verbal speech and/or sign language to provide models and access to multiple modes of communication.