top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrianna Calvin

Augmentative & Alternative Communication

When Should AAC Be Implemented For A Child?

AAC should be considered for any child when his/her speech output is not adequate to communicate everything that the child wants/needs to communicate.

Things to consider: ● Child’s frustration levels ● Adult frustration levels ● Access to school curriculum ● Participation in daily routines/activities ● Ability to demonstrate knowledge to adults/ caregivers ● Access to home and community environments ● Ability to interact appropriately with family and peers ● Independence in developmentally appropriate daily activities

What Prerequisite Skills Does a Child Need Before Trying AAC?

In short, there are no skills that a child MUST have before AAC can be tried. Common misconceptions and excuses why AAC devices should not be attempted with children: ● The child must understand cause and effect (AAC teaches cause and effect quite quickly and easily) ● The child must understand that a picture represents an object (again, AAC teaches this) ● Child must have good enough motor skills for AAC (there are lots of alternatives for children who can’t access a device accurately with their hands) ● Child must be interested in communicating (even inappropriate behaviors can be shaped into intentional communication)

AAC Evaluation and Device Trials

Session 1-2: ● Determine Speech, Language and Communication Abilities ● Motivation Assessment: Find out motivating activities and items to use in future assessments and trials ● AAC Evaluation: Assessment of skills necessary to successfully access AAC device, this information helps the SLP to narrow the best device for your child

Session 2-6: ● AAC Communication Assessment (Trial Period): Insurance required the trialing of three separate devices to make evidence-based decision on the best device for your child

Session 6-7: ● Delivery of Equipment: family and child are trained on use of device and SLP provides any customizations needed before the family takes the device home ● Ongoing AAC training by a certified SLP is highly recommended for long-term success with AAC device

For more information, visit Step Therapy Pediatrics at


Recent Posts

See All

ADHD and Driving

The team at Shamieh Law invites you to review our guide to ADHD and driving to learn more. 


bottom of page