Leading the Way in Communication Disorders Therapy in Chicago

We are proud to offer certified therapists who specialize in Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) methods, technology and evaluations.

What is Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC)?

AAC includes all the ways we communicate without words. AAC can be written answers, facial expressions, gestures, pictures, or high-tech communication devices that speak for a person. More specifically, people with severe communication concerns use AAC to help them meet needs, communicate with family, friends, and unfamiliar communication partners. AAC is effective and efficient when the individual is unable to use words to communicate. An individual relying on AAC may use any combination of words and AAC. Some individuals are able to use some words and others are non-verbal, communicating primarily with AAC.

There are two types of AAC:

  • Unaided AAC – a communication solely with ones body. This includes sign language, gestures, body language, and facial expressions.
  • Aided AAC – is completed with the assistance of a device. The device may be low-technology, mid-technology, or high-technology. Low- technology includes pen and paper, vocabulary core boards and picture exchanges. Mid-technology includes recorded speech on battery-operated devices. High-technology AAC options include dedicated or non-dedicated computer systems that allow an individual to select picture icons or letters/words whereby a phrase is read aloud by a computer-generated voice. Vocabulary on these devices is extensive and individuals have access and ability to communicate a greater amount and variety of thoughts, concerns, and needs.

Who needs AAC?

All types of AAC provide support to individuals with communication disorders that are unable to meet needs, share ideas, and communicate effectively and efficiently with those around them. Since AAC is considered an alternative to verbal communication, individuals can use any combination of AAC support to communicate effectively and efficiently. Access to AAC can allow an individual independence, participation in medical decisions, ability to preserve their dignity, maintain a social life and express wants and needs.

How can we help you with AAC?

Lumiere Children’s Therapy has the resources and specialized, certified staff to support your child’s growth in the use of AAC. We are happy to discuss the specific needs of your child and help you to determine what method will be most successful for effective and efficient communication now and as your child grows.  Further, if a family is considering a high-technology communication device, Lumiere Children’s Therapy offers evaluations and submissions of evaluations for purchase of the determined communication device through insurance.

We help make it work for you! Contact us today to find out more about how AAC can help your child.

“My son’s progress since he first started has been tremendous!. His motor skills, physical skills and speaking skills are increasing everyday. We will work collectively as one to continue help his development together.”

My son has been doing fantastically! He has improved so much. My family and friends see such a big difference in his speech. He has started using full sentences and he also opens up a lot more to his peers. My husband and I feel so elated that he has improved so much, thank you Lumiere!.

Lumiere brought our family PEACE and we will never forget that; we are forever grateful to everyone there who is a part of our son’s life.