2016 Nancy McKinley Lecture Series: Topics in AAC {Day 2}
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 7:40PM
Vlinder CT PLLC in AAC, AAC, AAC Awareness Month

October is AAC Awareness Month!  All this week I am attending a live webinar series on SpeechPathology.com called:

2016 Nancy McKinley Lecture Series: Topics in AAC


Day 2

AAC Part 2: Children with Complex Communication Needs: Assessing the Student and the Communication Environments

Presenter: Gary D. Cumley, PhD, CCC-SLP

Today, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point professor emeritus Gary Cumley, PhD, CCC-SLP continued discussing the AAC assessment process, this time focusing on the student (individual - because, really, this can be applied to adults, too) and the environments.


Dr. Cumley spent a good deal of time highlighting the importance of determining the individual's level of functional communication, using Dr. Patricia Dowden's (University of Washington) 1999 "types of communicators" as a guide.



The communication partner plays a very important role.

Next, he discussed the importance of assessing receptive communication skills as well as expressive:



Be a sponge!  Soak everything in.

Assess the individual's level of symbolization (symbol assessment based on Mirenda & Locke 1989): real object, photograph, colored black-line drawing, and word level.  

Since many individuals with complex communication needs do try to talk/vocalize, Dr. Cumley discussed the importance of assessing comprehensibility (often overlooked) versus intelligibility (often included), this time using Dr. Patricia Dowden's 1997 article.



There are no prerequisites, no reason to wait to assess for or intervene with AAC.  If we wait, we can end up with behaviors emerging and/or the individual can end up using non-symbolic communication and the team doesn't understand.


Factors to be considered: communication partner behaviors and attitudes



Complete a Social Network Inventory to look at the individual's entire social network of communication partners, environments, and communication expectations across the spectrum

Look at multiple toos so the individual can be a multi-modal communicator!

And finally (almost): use a feature match approach - fit the student's abilities to the system.

In summary:



Check back tomorrow for a summary of Day 3!


Here are links to my summaries for the other lectures in the series this week:

Day 1

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Article originally appeared on vlindertherapies (http://vlindertherapies.com/).
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