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Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

AAC describes a range of techniques and resources that can help a person to communicate if they have difficulties with their speech.  The person may use signs, symbols or text alongisde facial expressions, gestures, pointing and vocalisations.  AAC may augment their unclear speech, or it may be an alternative to speech, if they have not yet developed natural speech.

AAC does not stop a person from talking.  Research and clinical experience shows us that it often supports speech.  I am almost always told by parents and carers that the AAC user starts making more attempts to speak after the introduction of AAC.

In addition to supporting speech, AAC can also support a person's attention and listening, receptive language, expressive language, cognition and memory.

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AAC takes many forms including:

  • Makaton signs

  • Symbol communication boards or books

  • communication apps on a tablet

An AAC user might benefit from using symbols, or they may be able to use text to spell words.

I will always promote the development of literacy alongside the use of symbols.  Literacy opens up a world of knowledge and opportunity.

I have written two books about AAC (see below), used by Speech and Language Therapists.


I can offer supervision and mentoring to Speech and Language Therapists who wish to develop their skills in AAC. 

See my books about AAC

Who's Afraid of AAC book by Alison Battye
Navigating AAC 50 Essential Strategies book by Alison Battye SLT
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