What is AAC?
AAC is Augmentative and Alternative Communication. It is also called “augcomm”. AAC uses anything in addition to verbal speech to help people who are nonverbal to communicate functionally. AAC can be paper symbols, sign language, or a tablet.
Who can benefit from AAC?
Anyone who is nonverbal can benefit from learning AAC. From kids who have never been able to talk to adults who have had a stroke or a short-term surgery that affects their ability to speak, AAC is helpful.
How much does AAC cost?
AAC can be free or can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Paper communication symbols are free (or the cost of the paper and ink). Tablets such as iPads are about $250-1000 dollars for an app and the tablet. Dedicated devices (devices manufactured only for communication) range from $3000-$20,000.
Is my child too young for AAC?
No! Babies and toddlers communicate! A child over 18 months who isn’t verbally communicating can start using AAC. Younger babies can start learning through sign language and picture choices.
Is my child “smart” enough for AAC?
Yes! Typically developing children make choices at very young ages — 6 months and below. A child at any cognitive level can start using AAC for at least some choices.
Will AAC keep my child from using their mouth to talk like everyone else?
No! There is tons of research that shows AAC actually helps kids talk verbally rather than keeping them from using their voice.
How do I get started?
Read our blog! Betsy has also produced an online course that will help you and your child get started with AAC. If you have a speech pathologist and she or he isn’t experienced with AAC, you can both watch the course and work together to learn and get started.
How do I work with Betsy?
Betsy does a limited number of teleconference consults each month. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
My mother-in-law had a stroke and can’t talk. What do I do?
If you have a smart phone or a tablet, she can use an AAC app on the phone or tablet to communicate. For short term issues, I recommend using a free or low-cost app like SoundingBoard (iPad or iPhone) or AAC Talking Tabs. For a Windows phone, you can start with a free trial from CoughDrop AAC.