Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

AAC Workshop

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

What is AAC?

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is the term used to describe the many communication methods which can be used to support or replace speech. AAC is used to help children with Complex Communication Needs (CCN). Your child’s speech pathologist may suggest an AAC system if their speech is delayed or to enhance existing speech. AAC includes a range of methods such as visuals, signs and computer technologies.


What are the different AAC methods?

AAC covers a large number of ways of communicating and can either be aided or unaided. Unaided AAC includes key word sign, gestures, facial expression or body language.  Aided ACC can include communication systems, visual schedules or PODD books, or more high tech systems such as Proloquo2go or LAMP.

How to I know what AAC methods are right for my child?

EarlyEd’s speech pathologists will work with you to determine which AAC method (or methods) are right for your child and how best to learn and implement them.  We will continue to support and train you, and all of the communication partners within the environments in which your child communicates, as you progress through the process.

How long will it take for my child to learn to use AAC?

This is a tricky question to answer, because it is different for every child.

Does using AAC slow the development of speech?

No.  We know from the research that using AAC does not stop natural speech development. In fact, there is some evidence that it may actually support natural speech development (Millar, Light & Schlosser, 2006; Blischak, Lombardino & Dyson, 2003). Instead of delaying the development of speech, by learning additional communication methods, AAC actually contributes to the child’s overall communication, and assists in the learning of communication skills.

Can AAC be used by child care professionals?

Yes. AAC training is available for both parents and professionals.  Child carers, preschool and school teacher and speech pathologists are always welcome to attend an AAC training session and learn how they can implement it in their settings. EarlyEd offers consultations to preschools and schools in a variety of areas, promoting inclusion and staff training.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication and EarlyEd

Speech Pathology

Speech pathologists are experts in helping children to communicate, and can also support with feeding.

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Key Word Sign

Learn how you can support language development with manual signing.

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Hanen® Programs

Programs to help you learn skills to use in your daily life now and for years to come.

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Mealtime Management

Children with feeding and swallowing difficulties may require mealtime management.

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