AAC is short for Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

Communication devices, systems, strategies and tools that replace or support natural speech are known as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). These tools support a person who has difficulties communicating using speech.

The first “A” in AAC stands for Augmentative Communication. When you augment something, you add to it or supplement. Augmentative communication is when you add something to your speech (eg. sign language, pictures, a letter board). This can make your message clearer to your listener.

The second “A” in AAC stands for Alternative Communication. This is when you are not able to speak. It is also when your speech is not understood by others. In this case, you need a different way to communicate.

Basically, AAC can be tools, systems, devices or strategies. These tools help a person communicate, when they cannot rely on speech. Perhaps your child has not started talking. Perhaps you have lost your ability to speak. Perhaps your speech comes and goes. Maybe speaking is harder than other ways to communicate. AAC can help.

Who is AAC for?

There are many reasons why a person may not be able to communicate using speech. They may have a developmental disability which has affected the development of speech. They may have an acquired disorder that has affected the person’s ability to speak.


AAC hinders speech development

To communicate only the Basic needs

Only the ones who are non-speakers can use AAC

Behavioral must be addressed before AAC can be effective

AAC can only help smaller children

AAC should be the last resort

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