Semin Speech Lang 2018; 39(05): 399-415
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1669992
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

“Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Will Give You a Voice”: Key Practices in AAC Assessment and Intervention as Described by Persons with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

David McNaughton
1  Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
,
Felicia Giambalvo
2  Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
,
Kim Kohler
1  Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
,
Godfrey Nazareth
3  X-Biomedical, Wayne, Pennsylvania
,
Jessica Caron
2  Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
,
Susan Fager
4  Communication Center of Excellence, Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, Lincoln, Nebraska
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
25 September 2018 (online)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions of persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (pALS) who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with the AAC assessment and intervention process. Twenty-one pALS with complex communication needs participated in a multipart survey (and follow-up e-mails) to provide information on their experiences with AAC assessment and intervention. A majority of the participants agreed with the importance of three key AAC intervention principles: appropriate staging of the timing of assessment and intervention activities, inclusion of communication partners, and the use of multiple modalities and strategies as communication supports. Most participants reported that their assessment and intervention experiences included at least some aspect of these three key practices. The results of this study suggest that the identified best practices in AAC should be reviewed and implemented on an individualized basis for pALS with complex communication needs.

Disclosures

Financial: The authors' research is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant no. 90RE5017) to the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (RERC on AAC). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In addition, the third author is also supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education (no. H325D130021).


Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.