Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for Cerebral Palsy

Since cerebral palsy is a neurological disability, children often suffer through common practices that we take for granted. Cerebral palsy is often misunderstood as a disorder of the muscles (as children often have a problem with motor skills), but cerebral palsy is instead a disability of the brain as it sends the wrong information to the extremities. Lack of control over their muscles and motor skills aren’t the only problems that individuals with cerebral palsy face: many children may also experience a limited or inability to speak. With Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), they can develop different means of communication.

What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication?

AAC is a series of types of non-oral communication strategies that people with oral communication issues can utilize. Almost everyone has used some form of AAC, such as waving, making hand gestures, and writing. For children with cerebral palsy who are unable to communicate orally, AAC is often the only way for them communicate their feelings, wants, and needs.

AAC can be utilized via unaided and aided communication systems.

Examples of unaided communication include:

  • Body language
  • Sign language
  • Hand gestures

Examples of aided communication include:

  • Books
  • Boards
  • Speaking devices and/or speech generation devices
  • Electronic such as tablet, laptops, and computers
  • Eye movement devices

How Can Someone Speak with Augmentative and Alternative Communication?

AAC is supported by Dynavox through an app. This app allows people with all kinds of speaking disabilities to use a number of resources for communication. As some users who cannot speak have intellectual disabilities, there are games on the app that help to exercise the cognitive pathways of the brain that lead to effective communication.

Additionally, the exercises easily translate to communication with caregivers, family members, and friends as the exercises involve word pictures that are used also for the communication function.

What Does Dynavox Promise?

Dynavox promises to actively help in communication between people with disabilities and the people around them. Using the app for word pictures, phrases, and other modes of communication, anyone with disabilities can actively and effectively communicate with those around him or her. The goal of Dynavox isn’t merely to help those with disabilities to actively communicate, but to have healthy, productive lives with rich relationships and with careers in the real world. By using Dynavox, those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to communicate with customers now can.

Who Can Use AAC on Dynavox?

AAC is intended for every person to be able to communicate no matter what level of intellectual disability. Whether you have a smart phone, a tablet, or a computer, you can use the app that takes the individual through a number of exercises, thus learning effective means of communication.