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Multidisciplinary Programs

Augmentative Communication.

Monkey Mouths Augmentative Communication

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) encompasses various methods individuals use to enhance or compensate for limited verbal speech.

Augmentative communication allows an individual’s message to become clearer to the listener by adding to their speech through means such as sign language, pictures, communication devices, etc.

Alternative communication is utilized when an individual is unable to speak or when their oral communication may not be understood by others.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) encompasses various methods individuals use to enhance or compensate for limited verbal speech. Augmentative communication allows an individual’s message to become clearer to the listener by adding to their speech through means such as sign language, pictures, communication devices, etc. Alternative communication is utilized when an individual is unable to speak or when their oral communication may not be understood by others.

Total Communication Approach

At Monkey Mouths, we take a total communication approach, honoring all forms of communication. Our goal is to maximize and utilize your child’s full communication abilities. AAC may be an appropriate treatment option if your child is difficult to understand or is unable to speak. Individuals of all ages and various speech and language impairments can benefit from AAC. Diagnoses that may impact verbal speech and intelligibility include autism spectrum disorder, childhood apraxia of speech, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and dysarthria.

Monkey Mouths Augmentative Communication

Levels of Technology.

High-Tech

High-tech forms of AAC may include strategies and tools that require batteries and electronics such as:

  • Speech-generating devices with voice output systems
  • iPads with communication apps such as:
    • LAMP Words for Life
    • TouchChat
    • Proloqou2Go
    • TD Snap
  • Eye-gaze devices

Mid-Tech

Mid-tech forms of AAC often refer to electronic devices that are battery operated and have simpler functions such as:

  • BIG Mack switch
  • GoTalk

No Tech or Low-Tech

No-tech or low-tech forms of AAC refer to tools and strategies that do not require batteries or electronics such as:

  • Communication books
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  • Core Boards
  • Writing
  • Drawing
  • Pointing to letters to spell
  • Facial Expressions
  • Gestures
  • Sign Language

Speech Therapy Services

Scheduling an evaluation with a speech-language pathologist can help determine if AAC would be beneficial for your child. Various skills such as receptive and expressive language abilities will be assessed to determine an appropriate language system for your child.

Language and Speech Sound Development

Children who are appropriate candidates for AAC may demonstrate delays in receptive/expressive language and articulation.

AAC can be used in speech therapy and across environments to help your child meet their speech and language goals. Many people question whether AAC will prevent someone from speaking or negatively impact language development.  According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), research demonstrates that utilizing AAC can promote language and speech sound development. Having additional tools and forms of communication accessible to a child, aides in successful communication. For example, using pictures on voice output systems can help prompt a child to utilize verbal speech. Modeling language on a communication device for a child not only allows a child to hear language being used but also see language being used.

Monkey Mouths Augmentative Communication

Benefits of AAC include:

Occupational Therapy Services

Children using AAC may benefit from occupational therapy to help assist with fine motor, gross motor, and/or visual impairments. For example, when using a high-tech device such as an iPad, the child may need to have skills such as finger isolation and the ability to select target icons on a screen. An occupational therapist can evaluate these skills to determine appropriate access methods and improve target selection.

Monkey Mouths Augmentative Communication

Audiological Services

If your child is having difficulty communicating and has not had a recent hearing test, it is important that a full audiological evaluation is completed to determine if a hearing difference exists and is contributing to speech or language delays.

Monkey Mouths Audiology Services