New Center for AAC & Autism Helps
Advance Communication Skills in Children
with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Comprehensive Resource Offers Education, Training, Research, and Community for Speech Therapists, Educators, and Families
Wooster, OH, October 13, 2009 –The new Center for AAC & Autism, launched online today at www.aacandautism.com, is dedicated to helping children with autism learn to communicate through the power of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) devices.
“More than half of the thousands of children diagnosed with autism every year are unable to communicate verbally,” explains the Center’s Director, Cindy Halloran, who has worked extensively with children with autism during more than 20 years as an occupational therapist. “Our own experience and published research show that AAC offers many of these children a viable method of independently and spontaneously expressing themselves.”
Focusing attention on the promise of AAC for nonverbal communicators is a key mission of the Center. “A voice output AAC device gives a nonverbal child a way to communicate, which can improve social engagement, decrease frustration and aberrant behavior, and help others to see the child’s true potential,” Halloran adds.
Staffed by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and assistive technology experts, the Center offers Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) training workshops nationwide to teach professionals and family members AAC strategies for promoting language development in those with autism. The Center also serves as an online destination for AAC information, tools, and additional resources; supports clinical research aimed at the effective implementation of AAC within the autism arena; and facilitates sharing of best practices and success stories among clinicians and families.
The Center was developed with support from AAC technology leader PRC (www.prentrom.com) in response to the growing demand for communication solutions for the ASD population and increased interest in LAMP methodologies first introduced by PRC in 2006.
“Supporting the work of the Center for AAC & Autism directly aligns with our mission to enable communication without limitations, through our AAC devices and Unity® language system” says PRC President David L. Moffatt. “For too long, autism has imposed its silence on too many; we’re proud to support the Center’s efforts working and learning with clinicians and parents to offer real solutions through AAC.”
To learn more about the Center for AAC & Autism, go to www.aacandautism.comor call toll-free (866) 998-1726.