Let’s Get Practical – Evidence Based Practices in AAC

Quick Overview

In this presentation, Mary-Louise Bertram discusses the importance of evidence-based practices in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for individuals with Angelman syndrome. She emphasizes the need for comprehensive AAC systems that allow individuals to express themselves and have autonomy in their communication. Bertram also highlights the importance of modeling AAC for individuals with Angelman syndrome and the need for skilled professionals in AAC to support families. She concludes by emphasizing the potential of individuals with Angelman syndrome and the importance of providing them with the tools and support they need to communicate effectively.

Introduction

In this talk, we will discuss evidence-based practices in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for individuals with Angelman syndrome. We will explore what we have learned over the past six years and the importance of comprehensive AAC systems. We will also address common guilt and misconceptions surrounding AAC and provide practical advice for families and professionals.

The Importance of AAC

AAC is essential for individuals with Angelman syndrome to effectively communicate their wants, needs, and thoughts. It provides them with a means to express themselves and participate fully in their communities. However, it is crucial to ensure that AAC systems are comprehensive and tailored to the individual’s specific needs.

Guilt and Misconceptions

Many families and professionals experience guilt when it comes to AAC. It is important to address and overcome these feelings, as they can hinder progress and limit the individual’s access to effective communication. It is essential to remember that no one is expected to know everything about AAC from the start, and it is okay to learn and grow along the way.

Learning from Experience

Over the past six years, we have learned a great deal about AAC and Angelman syndrome. We have discovered that each individual with Angelman syndrome is unique, but they share certain characteristics. These characteristics include curiosity, tenacity, determination, and problem-solving skills. Understanding these characteristics helps us tailor AAC systems to meet their specific needs.

Motor and Sensory Challenges

Individuals with Angelman syndrome often face motor planning and sensory processing challenges. These challenges can affect their ability to communicate effectively. It is important to provide them with appropriate support and accommodations to overcome these challenges and access AAC systems.

Vision and Auditory Processing

Vision and auditory processing issues are common in individuals with Angelman syndrome. Understanding how they use their vision and auditory input helps us tailor AAC systems to their specific needs. Tools like Gaze Viewer can provide valuable insights into their visual attention and help us determine the most effective ways to present information visually.

Challenging Behaviors

Challenging behaviors are common in individuals with Angelman syndrome, and it is essential to address them effectively. Comprehensive AAC systems that allow individuals to express their emotions, needs, and desires can help reduce challenging behaviors and improve overall well-being.

The Power of AAC

AAC systems provide individuals with Angelman syndrome the power to communicate and participate fully in their communities. It is crucial to model AAC use and provide access to AAC systems in all settings to ensure individuals can communicate effectively and be heard.

Conclusion

In conclusion, evidence-based practices in AAC are essential for individuals with Angelman syndrome to communicate effectively. It is important to address guilt and misconceptions surrounding AAC and provide comprehensive AAC systems tailored to the individual’s specific needs. By embracing AAC and providing the necessary support, individuals with Angelman syndrome can reach their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.

Talk details

  • Title: Let’s Get Practical – Evidence Based Practices in AAC
  • Author(s): Mary-Louise Bertram
  • Author(s)’ affiliation: None
  • Publication date: 2019-01-10
  • Collection: 2018 FAST Educational Summit