Treatment

After the initial evaluation, an individualized treatment plan is developed and several factors are determined such as “the frequency of treatment, providers and their respective roles, [and] settings in which intervention will take place” (ASHA, 2014). Each person who uses AAC will have a different course of treatment due to the wide range of needs of each individual. However there are general components to AAC treatment that may be incorporated into interventions.

This aim is “for the [person] to meet his/her varied communication requirements as intelligibly, specifically, efficiently, independently and in as socially valued a manner as possible in order to understand others and to be understood” (International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication [ISAAC], 2006, p. 4). The task required “in order to achieve this aim is to discover the ‘circumstances’ which will enable the child to achieve his / her present communication requirements and to provide opportunities to stimulate development of…communication in the future” (ISAAC, 2006, p. 5).

Goals for treatment may focus on learning:

Meaning of symbols: Just as we learn that the symbols “a-p-p-l-e” represent a fruit that we eat, the person using AAC must learn the meaning connected with each symbol in the selected system(s),  whether that be learning sign language symbols, gestures that are specific to an individual, or learning what each picture represents on a communication board or device.

julia meaning

Icon placement and sequencing patterns: Aided forms of AAC require a person to become familiar with the location of the icons on their communication board or device. This is the same as learning the location of keys on a computer keyboard, therefore, continued practice and use is important. In addition, keeping the icons on a display in a consistent location when possible aids the person using AAC to develop a motor memory of the icon placement and sequences.

tony icon placement

Maintaining and programming the system: When using a low tech, mid tech, or high tech system, the person using the device and/or family, friends and communication partners must learn how to take care or the system including how to turn the device on and off, how charge it or change the batteries, how to keep it clean etc.. Also, they must also learn how to add, change, or delete messages in the device in order to be able to meet the communication needs of the person using AAC.

ivan maintenance

 

 

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