Augmentative and Alternative Communication Use in Children

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Use in Children 

Efficient communication is a life skill that is fundamental to interacting with others for various reasons. Those reasons are why we “use” language to communicate. If a person has no desire to communicate, they simply do not. If the person has reason to communicate but lacks the ability, such as a person who may have recently had a stroke, they may need some sort of assistance in communicating their wants and needs. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA, 2016) estimates that well over two million people with communication difficulties use some form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) over their lifespan. This course will explore the different types of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices as well as the components of a comprehensive augmentative and alternative communication evaluation. This course focuses primarily on the use of AAC with children. By the end of this course, you will be able to confidently understand and discuss AAC evaluation and intervention. The content in this course is applicable to speech language pathologist in all healthcare settings.


Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (2 Match)

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association


Relias LLC

Intermediate level; Professional Area Level

0.15 ASHA CEUs

Kansas Health Department of Aging and Disability Services (Speech)


Approved for 1.50 continuing education clock hours for Kansas Speech Pathologists and Audiologists by the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability. Long Term Sponsorship number LTS-S1057. This activity is approved for 1.50 contact hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-RTS-0-UAAC
Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 12/31/2022
Learning Objectives:
Identify those who could benefit from augmentative communication.
Describe two of the three main areas of language described by Bloom and Lahey.
Provide one example that describes each of the three communicative functions described by Wetherby and Prizant.
Explore three of the six necessary components of the AAC evaluation.
Describe five types of symbol systems used with unaided and aided modes of AAC.
Explain two different display and access options for AAC.
Differentiate between low tech and high-tech AAC devices.


Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: What Is Communication?

Just Imagine…

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Defined

Language Development

Pre-Intentional Language

Use and AAC

Who Needs Augmentative Communication?



Section 3: Assessment for AAC

What Does a Typical AAC Evaluation Entail?

Assessment Process

History Intake

Linguistic Assessment



Feature Matching



Section 4: Choosing the Right System

Augmentative Communication Symbol Systems

Unaided Communication Symbol Systems

Aided Communication Symbol Systems

Available Symbol Sets

Options for Aided Communication Systems

Low-Tech Devices

High-Tech Systems

Fixed Display

Dynamic Display

Arrangement of Symbols

Access Options



Section 5: Additional Considerations

Family and Environmental Support

Therapy Considerations

Funding Considerations



Section 6: Conclusion


Course Contributor




Exam and BrainSparks

Expert Reviewer: Amy Reinstein, MS, CCC – SLP
Amy Reinstein, M.S., CCC – SLP has been practicing speech language pathology for 8 years focusing on the dysphagia and neurogenic communication adult population. Amy has worked in various New York City acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, short term rehabilitation centers, home health care, and outpatient private practice. She has extensive experience in performing and evaluating Modified Barium Swallow Studies. Her teaching experience includes supervising Clinical Fellows to attain their certification, as well as certified speech–language pathologists in home health and skilled nursing facilities. Amy has also worked extensively with the New York City Board of Education K- 12 and Special Education schools. Special projects include publishing various articles for trade magazines and blogs, contributing to CEU courses, publishing of a live website, and creating clinical assessments and evaluations. She is currently authoring a speech and language textbook and conducting a research study in dysphagia. Disclosure: Amy Reinstein, MS, CCC – SLP has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Intermediate level Speech and Language Pathologists; in the following settings: Rehabilitation Settings.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.