Welcome to AAC On The Lakeshore
-Assisting All Communicators
The ability to communicate with the world forms the greatest connection we know! A parent whose child cannot express what he or she wants, needs, feels or thinks about a situation, or who cannot be understood, knows heartbreak. An adult who has lost his or her ability to speak finds life turned upside down due to not being able to express his or her wants, needs , feelings or thoughts. There are ways to assist both situations.
Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) often provides the means for those individuals who either never could speak, cannot speak to be understood, or have lost their ability to speak through trauma.
For children with severe communication issues, traditional speech and language therapy is often the first step. However, research has shown that in severe cases, the use of AAC may assist in developing the spoken word. AAC use for communication can assure that language development does not fall behind. AAC therapy for children has two purposes - to learn the communication system, and to learn to communicate at age appropriate levels.
For those adults with trauma, one may understand what is being said, but not able to speak or retrieve words. The process of using an AAC device may be a bit more straightforward, as the person may have the inner knowledge of language intact. Therapy would still be needed initially to learn how to use the system or device.
Traditional therapy services are also available for those who are able to communicate, but who need to be more clear, more fluent, use appropriate word choices and grammar skills, or learn the nuances of conversations.
Speech & Language Assessments
Communication consists of four areas that work together as a whole.
If any one of these areas is affected, the whole of communication can suffer.
Augmentative & Assistive Technology
Spoken communication is not an option for everyone. Children who are born with congenital conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, etc., may have difficulty speaking clearly or may not be able to speak at all. Adults may have head trauma from accidents, suffer strokes, or have a degenerative syndrome that also makes speaking difficult or not possible.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can assist in such cases. Low or high tech symbol systems that are accessed directly by touch or indirectly by using switches or eye gaze can open up the world of communication. Trials are conducted with various types of AAC systems/devices. Once a suitable system or device is found, a funding process is initiated with the insurance company to obtain a personal AAC device. Therapy for its use, both in terms of language content/ grammar and the navigation is then begun.
Therapy sessions are geared toward the results of the speech and language assessments, and/or the AAC funding result. Areas addressed are the four mentioned above: articulation, language (spoken or AAC), fluency or voice.
An action plan is designed specifically to the individual served prior to therapy commencing. Sessions are held at the offices of AAC On The Lakeshore in Grand Haven. Home therapy is available within a 30-mile radius of the office, with the cost per session reflecting travel time.
Organizations are often in need of assistance on how to address the communication needs of their staff or clientele. Oftentimes an AAC method or system may assist in increasing productivity or decreasing the frustration that can lead to undesirable behaviors.
Consultation is available on an hourly basis to assess the communication environment and needs.