When a person is unable to communicate using standard techniques, they may need an augmentative communication system with the ability to fulfill their communication needs.
Such systems include:
• Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
• General use of pictures
• Low-tech and high-tech electronic and
• Or computerized speech generating devices
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), in 1991 approximately 2 million Americans did not have the ability to satisfy their communication needs. One source indicates that world wide, between .2% and .6 % of the population is affected by conditions that result in the inability to communicate (Blackstone 1990a).
Selecting the best way to communicate is not as simple as getting a prescription for eyeglasses. It is important to obtain an evaluation by a group of professionals (i.e., SLP’s, OT’s, and PT’s) to develop the best communication system to meet a patient’s needs. Speech-language pathologists at PTI have specialized training in evaluating and providing intervention in PECS, speech-generating devices, and other alternative means of communicating.