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Realistic and Supportive AAC Intervention for a Client with Cerebral Palsy

Practice Report
  • Fiona Panthi

The paper aims to demonstrate the importance of considering a client's well-being and family circumstances when implementing high tech AAC.


An assessment to explore suitable symbol-based AAC and access methods for a young man with cerebral palsy. A head switch and eye gaze were identified as the best access methods. During the review period, the client suffered intermittant ill health and discomfort in his new wheelchair. Furthermore, his mother was having difficulties coping and lacked confidence in supporting her son with the technology. Reassurance, support and training with the AAC and head switch were provided. The eye gaze training was postponed, as implementing more technology could potentially overwhelm the client and his mother and lead to failure.


The client developed some good AAC skills with switch scanning. He used his AAC spontaneously to engage in conversation, tell jokes, direct others and comment on his feelings. Eye gaze technology can now be revisited.


Listening to clients and their carers during the implementation of AAC to guage their capacity for learning is imperative. Modifying earlier decisions and taking practical steps to provide well-supported AAC intervention, can lead to good outcomes.

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