1UO di Neuropsichiatria Infantile e dell’Adolescenza, 2UOC di Pediatria, ASST Lariana, Como
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Key words: Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC), Double communicative input, Complex disabilities, Assistive technology
Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) is an area of clinical practice that tries to compensate for the temporary or permanent disability of individuals with complex communication needs. It uses gestures or signs and images and utilises a double communicative input, both visual and auditory. It is Augmentative because its main purpose is to enhance and expand ("augmentative" 1983 ISAAC) communication and language, supporting all the communicative potential of the person. It is Alternative because it uses an alternative method to traditional communication: it utilises gestures, signs, aids for communication and advanced technology, falling within Assistive Technology (AT). AAC users are mainly those with complex (cognitive and communicative) disabilities. Moreover, it is also used in all those temporary situations in which communication is hindered by traumatic factors (intensive care, first aid) or linked to the issue of integration / inclusion. For example, foreign people can benefit from the use of AAC in order to reduce discomfort in social relations and language learning. The Authors highlight the potential of AAC both on the basis of scientific and clinical evidence and describe the evolution of two clinical cases followed at the Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry Unit in Como (Italy).
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