Alternative Communication Intervention in Children Health and Social Care

Alternative Communication Intervention In Children Health And Social Care Essay
Published: 23, March 2015
Children and youth who sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or spinal cord injury (SCI) may have temporary or permanent disabilities that affect their speech, language and communication abilities. Having a way to communicate can help reduce a child's confusion and anxiety, as well as enable them to participate more actively in the rehabilitation process and thus, recover from their injuries. In addition, effective communication with family, care staff, peers, teachers and friends is essential to long-term recovery and positive outcomes as children with TBI and SCI are integrated back into their communities. This article describes how rehabilitation teams can use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and assistive technologies (AT) to support the communication of children recovering from TBI and SCI over time.
1. Introduction
Children and youth who sustain a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or a spinal cord injury (SCI) often experience sequealae that can affect their ability to communicate effectively. In early phases of recovery, many children with TBI and SCI are unable to use their speech or gestures for a variety of medical reasons related to their injuries. As a result, they can benefit from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions that specifically address their ability to communicate basic needs and feelings to medical personnel and family members and ask and respond to questions. AAC approaches may include having access to a nurse's call signal; strategies to establish a consistent "yes" "no" response; techniques that help a child "eye point" to simple messages; low-tech boards and books that encourage interaction with family members and staff; communication boards with pictures or words; and speech generating devices (SGDs) with preprogrammed messages, such as "I hurt" "Come here," "Help me please!"...