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Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) refers to the use of communication methods other than speech to satisfy communicative needs such as expressing thoughts, needs, and wants, and sharing ideas. These methods range from gestures and facial expressions to sophisticated computer systems with speech output. AAC supports individuals with complex communication needs by replacing speech that is not functional or by supplementing existing speech. Many individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disorders have complex communication needs. This entry describes those who can benefit from AAC, types of AAC that are available, and key factors to consider when choosing and implementing an AAC system.

Appropriate Candidates for AAC

Several models emerged in the 1970s and 1980s to assess the candidacy of individuals for AAC services. These models focused on prerequisite ...

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