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Augmentative and Alternative Communication

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The Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital provides evaluation, treatment and training for children, families and therapeutic teams. When a child does not talk or has profound problems talking, AAC may help the child communicate.

Conditions We Treat


Therapists in the AAC Program work with children who have speech problems due to:


  • Autism
  • Apraxia
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Craniofacial differences
  • Developmental delay
  • Metabolic and genetic conditions
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Dysarthria

Services We Offer


We offer these services:


Evaluation

In an AAC evaluation, we assess your child’s ability to communicate with whatever methods they are used to using. Then we evaluate their ability to expand their communication skills using AAC systems or strategies.

Treatment

Based on your child’s evaluation, we may recommend short-term therapy at Children’s. Family, school personnel and community therapists are important members of a child’s treatment team. We encourage them to come to treatment sessions.

Training

When we recommend using an AAC system, we provide training for the child, family and caregivers about that system to ensure success. Training is typically included as part of a child’s treatment program.

Outreach

Seattle Children’s provides training to school staff to support use of AAC in the school setting. We customize the training to the students’ or staff members’ needs.