Assessment With Children Who Need Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): Clinical Decisions of AAC Specialists Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore how speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who are augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) specialists approach the assessment process for 2 case studies, 1 child with cerebral palsy and 1 with autism spectrum disorder. The aim of the study was to answer the following ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2017
Assessment With Children Who Need Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): Clinical Decisions of AAC Specialists
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shelley K. Lund
    University of Wisconsin−Milwaukee, WI
  • Wendy Quach
    San Jose State University, CA
  • Kristy Weissling
    University of Nebraska–Lincoln, NE
  • Miechelle McKelvey
    University of Nebraska–Kearney, NE
  • Aimee Dietz
    University of Cincinnati, OH
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Shelley K Lund: sklund@uwm.edu
  • Editor: Shelley Gray
    Editor: Shelley Gray×
  • Associate Editor: Oliver Wendt
    Associate Editor: Oliver Wendt×
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2017
Assessment With Children Who Need Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): Clinical Decisions of AAC Specialists
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2017, Vol. 48, 56-68. doi:10.1044/2016_LSHSS-15-0086
History: Received December 7, 2015 , Revised April 2, 2016 , Accepted October 3, 2016
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2017, Vol. 48, 56-68. doi:10.1044/2016_LSHSS-15-0086
History: Received December 7, 2015; Revised April 2, 2016; Accepted October 3, 2016

Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore how speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who are augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) specialists approach the assessment process for 2 case studies, 1 child with cerebral palsy and 1 with autism spectrum disorder. The aim of the study was to answer the following questions: (a) How do clinicians with expertise approach the AAC assessment process for children with developmental disabilities? (b) Can any initial hypothesis be drawn about how SLPs approach the assessment of children with motor versus social interactive deficits?

Method This study used a phenomenological qualitative design. The researchers conducted 2 in-depth, semistructured interviews with 8 SLPs who specialized in AAC and self-identified as primarily working with children.

Results Four major themes emerged from the data: area of assessment, method of assessment, evaluation preparation, and parent education. Each major theme contained multiple subthemes and categories within those subthemes.

Conclusions Participants discussed similar areas of assessment for both cases, indicating that some aspects of AAC assessment are universal. However, the specific aspects of what they were assessing and how they went about assessing them differed between the 2 cases. The results of the current study provide an outline of an assessment protocol for children with complex communication needs.

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