Are you an SLP or SLPA who cringes when you get a client who has or needs AAC? Do you know when to refer clients who need AAC? It's not your fault if you said no to one or both of these questions. There has to be some accountability from our credentialed schools and leadership for not promoting and educating us more on AAC. There is hope, it is getting slightly better because we have more people to learn from.
When I was in school, many moons ago, I was offered an optional elective for AAC. I jumped on it because I was working as a provider with an AAC communicator and wanted to learn more. I remember being able to explore the device, reading research by Janice Light, and getting to listen to personal experiences of AAC communicators. Fast forward to graduate school. There was 1 class to take, an optional summer internship which I jumped on and it was amazing, but that was it and I was an SLP. So I don't blame you! We don't get enough exposure or access to classes to learn more and feel confident. AAC is a language. What you feel like an expert after just taking Spanish 101? No!!
Luckly, you don't have to be alone. With so many SLP gurus, social media, free trainings, FREE conferences online, and support from vendors you don't have to be stuck not knowing how to start or where to go. Just reach out to one of these amazing people. Join their blogs, listen to their podcasts, get comfortable and start using AAC. It will creep in to your life as an SLP at some point I promise. Here are some resources below to get you started. Below are by no means all the amazing AAC professionals out there, but they will help get you going in the right direction:-)
YOU GOT THIS!!!
~Staci Neustadt M.S. CCC-SLP C.A.S.