This program is tailored to children whose neuromuscular and oral motor impairments prevent the natural emergence of verbal and non-verbal communication abilities.
The program’s AAC team, lead by a speech-language pathologist, evaluates the child’s current communication and cognitive readiness, and develops an individualized communication plan that is just right for the child’s developmental level. We identify the best communication materials, which may include picture symbols or speech generating devices. Our department carries a library of switches, mounting hardware, environmental control technology, static and dynamic display speech generating devices, which helps us to determine the best solution for each family. We build the parents’ competence in communicating with their child using the principles of guided participation and aided language stimulation.
School and daycare teams are supported in the implementation of the communication plan in all environments. Assistance with the preparation of communication materials is available to help parents, school team members and the student to get started with a new communication system.
AAC Program Entry:
Referrals are accepted from community-based clinicians.
Referrals must be accompanied by a completed intake package. Please note that all applications must include a video recording of the child interacting in natural communication environments — instructions are included in the package.
This program is intended for children who have yet to discover the earliest social motivations to communicate.
The caregiver-child relationship is front and centre when it comes to teaching budding communicators. The Relate Program systematically teaches caregivers how to become effective guides for their own child. This guiding relationship serves as the vehicle to help draw the pre-verbal child up through the developmental levels of thinking and communicating.
Caregivers build their expertise in techniques that encourage thinking and communications abilities in their own child through an intensive program that spans a time period of 18 to 36 months. Caregivers learn about the impact of communication style, learn how to generate learning and communication challenges, learn about the impact of memory, and how to construct knowledge. They are challenged to become self-reflective learners, and by the end of the program, will be able to manage their own program.
Once the child becomes developmentally ready, children may be graduated into the AAC program or a traditional speech-language program.
Relate Program Entry:
Parents are required to attend a learning series consistently of seven weekly sessions, titled Promoting Flexible Thinking and Communication With Your Child at Home. These sessions are open to all interested parents. Please refer to the Workshop Calendar, Workshop Descriptions and registration form for session dates. Interested parents can contact Yvonne at firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
At completion, families with a non-speaking child have the option of applying for more intensive family support.
Information for the Professional: click here