The Center for AAC & Autism, which was founded in the USA in 2009, is pleased to announce the launch of a UK office dedicated to helping children with autism learn to communicate through the power of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) communication aids.
"More than half of the thousands of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) every year are unable to communicate verbally," explains the UK Center's Director, Sara Honey SLT, who has worked extensively with children with autism during more than 9 years as a speech therapist. "Our own experience and published research shows 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 communication aid gives a nonverbal child a way to communicate, which can increase social engagement, decrease frustration and improve behaviour, and help others to see the child's true potential," Sara added.
Staffed by speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and assistive technology experts, the Center offers Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) training seminars nationwide to teach professionals and family members AAC strategies for promoting language development for 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 therapists and families.
The Center was developed with support from AAC technology leader Liberator Ltd in response to the growing demand for communication solutions for the autism spectrum disorder population and increased interest in LAMP methodologies.
"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 Liberator Ltd Managing Director, Ian Thompson. "For too long, autism has imposed its silence on too many; we're proud to support the Center's efforts, working and learning with therapists and parents to offer real solutions through AAC."
To learn more about the Center for AAC & Autism please go to www.aacandautism.co.uk