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“Everybody is talented because everybody who is human has something to express.”  ― Brenda Ueland

AAC Treatment Plans in Hingham, MA

Learn More About Augmentative Alternative Communication

 

Does your child struggle with communication? Perhaps you can tell they're trying to get a message across, but they're clearly frustrated with their lack of effective communication. At South Shore Therapies, we're dedicated to helping children just like yours. We provide premier augmentative alternative communication therapies in order to better your child's ability to express themselves. Our services are available to Hingham, MA residents and those living in the surrounding communities. Your child doesn't have to struggle with communication breakdowns—our team would be glad to help find a suitable treatment plan.

What Is Augmentative Alternative Communication?

Augmentative alternative communication (AAC) describes a set of strategies used to help people with speech and language disorders. Many of these people need alternate means of communication, as they cannot express themselves well verbally. AAC is an effective way to help reduce communication frustration and to promote confidence in those without verbal communication.

Types of AAC

AAC therapy isn't one-size-fits-all. As such, we create augmentative alternative communication treatment plans unique to each individual. We typically use two different types of AAC, and each client's treatment will fall into one of these categories:

  • Unaided Systems: Unaided systems do not require any outside tools or devices to improve communication. Those who receive this type of AAC are encouraged to use gesturing, facial expressions, body language, and even sign language to express themselves. 
  • Aided Systems: This type of AAC therapy uses a device to better communication skills. Some of these "devices" might be as simple as a pen and paper or pictures. Other clients are better suited to technological tools, such as iPad apps or speech-generating devices.

 

A child working with signs representing augmentative alternative communication offered by South Shore Therapies in Southern MA

Augmentative Alternative Communication Devices

Just like there are two types of AAC, there are two kinds of devices that can effectively treat these speech disorders. Once your child completes an evaluation at South Shore Therapies, we'll suggest the best form of AAC therapy to meet their needs. Most AAC devices can be described as either "dedicated" or "non-dedicated." Let's look deeper into each of these options:

  • Dedicated: Dedicated AAC devices are typically more durable and therefore used frequently with children with significant disabilities. 
  • Non-Dedicated: Non-dedicated AAC devices were not necessarily created for medical purposes, but they can be used to address communication disorders. iPads are a great example of this type of technology.

How Our Therapists Implement AAC

Our therapists take several steps to get your child started on the appropriate AAC therapy program. We begin with an evaluation, where we take a look at your child's current speech and language abilities and set up an individualized treatment plan. Along the way, we'll work with you and your child's other caregivers to determine the efficacy of each program. If AAC is cost-prohibitive, our team will even help you find adequate funding.

What to Expect from a Speech and Language Evaluation

What happens during an evaluation for your child who may benefit from AAC?  This is the first question we get from many parents when they visit us. At South Shore Therapies, we strive to make our evaluations, consultations, and treatment as streamlined and individualized as possible. During your child's evaluation and treatment, you can expect all of the following:

  • A focus on determining your child's current level of speech and language functions
  • Friendly, compassionate team members
  • Discussion regarding the most appropriate technology to trial within the child's sessions
  • Support for both the child and parents
  • Collaboration with other healthcare professionals as appropriate

 

Who Can Benefit from Using an AAC Device?

AAC therapy activities are beneficial for lots of children coming from a variety of backgrounds. At South Shore Therapies, we often recommend this type of treatment for clients living with the following conditions:

• Developmental delays
• Autism
• Intellectual disabilities
• Cerebral palsy
• Brain injuries
• Various syndromes or genetic disorders

Contact Us to Begin an Evaluation

AAC therapy comes with a world of benefits to children. Not only will you be able to better communicate with your little one, but they also may see a bump in self-esteem and quality of life. Communication struggles are just that—a struggle. The team at South Shore Therapies wants to help make your child's life easier. Get in touch with us to start the evaluation process at one of our locations in the Hingham area.

 

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