Augmentative Communication Program | Our Services

The Augmentative Communication Program focuses on evaluating the complex communication needs of our patients and determining the most appropriate high-tech, low-tech, and/or no-tech augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solutions. Our interprofessional team consists of speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists to provide comprehensive evaluations of AAC and access needs. The Augmentative Communication Program provides both outpatient evaluations and inpatient services. Our clinicians work to collaborate with school and program teams to support implementation of recommendations. The Augmentative Communication Program staff works closely with other hospital and community resources to provide optimal services for each individual.

Outpatient evaluations

The Augmentative Communication Program provides comprehensive AAC and alternative access evaluations. A feature-matching approach is used to identify a person’s strengths and needs, and we match these to available AAC solutions. Evaluations may include a speech-language pathologist and/or an occupational therapist, depending on an individual’s needs.

Our speech-language pathologists evaluate an individual’s communication skills to determine features of AAC systems and strategies that would support functional communication.

Our occupational therapists evaluate an individual's motor movements, cognition, and positioning to determine what access technologies would be the best fit to engage in functional communication.

Autism Language Program (ALP)

The Autism Language Program (ALP) at Boston Children's Hospital is a program specifically designed to help children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders communicate and learn more effectively. We consider all forms of communication including spoken, written, gestural (sign), and visual (use of graphic symbols).

Inpatient Augmentative Communication Program

The Inpatient Augmentative Communication Program is a one-of-its-kind bedside service aimed at supporting communication enhancement of patients in the acute care setting and optimizing patient-provider communication throughout the recovery continuum. Our full-time speech-language pathologists work collaboratively with our outpatient clinicians to optimize continuity of care during an inpatient admission. The Inpatient Augmentative Communication Program also works closely with multidisciplinary teams across intensive care units, acute care units, and related departments and programs to ensure appropriate AAC and AT needs for patients and to support communication recovery.

Jay S. Fishman ALS Augmentative Communication Program

The Jay S. Fishman ALS Augmentative Communication Program provides comprehensive augmentative communication and assistive technology assessments, trials, and training to people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) from the time of diagnosis throughout their lifespan. Our goal is to support communication and daily functional needs, sustain personal control and dignity, facilitate continued social and vocational goals, and maintain quality of life through thoughtful implementation of solutions ranging from high technology to quick-access/low-tech tools and strategies. This is best accomplished by providing support to a person with ALS and their family.

Lacy Augmentative Communication Lab

The Lacy Augmentative Communication Lab, gifted to the Augmentative Communication Program (ACP) by the Clive W. and Mona M. Lacy Trust, assures that the ACP has state-of-the-art augmentative communication technology available on site for outpatient evaluations, therapy, and (in some cases) short-term loan. Loans are based on technology availability. When borrowed, families and patients agree to participate in ongoing therapy/monitoring in the ACP during the trial.