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New Center for AAC & Autism to Promote Communication Skills in Children with Autism

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 General News J E 4
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AACandAutism.com Offers Education, Training, Research, and Community for Speech Therapists, Educators, and Families

WOOSTER, Ohio, Oct. 13 -- The new Center for AAC & Autism, based online at AACandAutism.com, is dedicated to helping children with autism learn to communicate through the power of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) devices.

“More than half of the thousands of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) every year are unable to communicate verbally,” explains the Center’s Director, Cindy Halloran, OTR/L, who has worked extensively with children with autism during more than 20 years as an occupational therapist. “Our own experience and published research show 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 device gives a nonverbal child a way to communicate, which can improve social engagement, decrease frustration and aberrant behavior, and help others to see the child’s true potential,” Halloran adds.  

Staffed by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) 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 in 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 clinicians and families.

The Center was developed with support from AAC technology leader PRC (Prentke Romich Company, prentrom.com) in response to the growing demand for communication solutions for the autism spectrum disorder population and increased interest in LAMP methodologies first introduced by PRC in 2006.  

“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 PRC President David L. Moffatt. “For too long, autism has imposed its silence on too many; we’re proud to support the Center’s efforts, working and learning with clinicians and parents to offer real solutions through AAC.”

To learn more about the Center for AAC & Autism, go to AACandAutism.com or call toll-free (866) 998-1726.

SOURCE Prentke Romich Company

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