When a child is unable to communicate by speech, he/she must develop alternative ways to communicate so others will understand and respond. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) uses all forms of communication other than oral speech, allowing a child with speech impairments to express himself and communicate with those around him/her. The Speech and Language Therapy Department will work to help our student by improving and accessing overall communication skills via a multi-modality approach. Our mission is also to ensure feeding safety by assessing and addressing feeding issues using an interdisciplinary approach.
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) at iBrain work to assess, diagnose, and treat language, cognitive-communication, feeding and swallowing disorders for multi-handicapped children with severe brain injury. Most of the children are non-verbal and non-ambulatory and require astute observations by our Speech-Language Pathologists to hone in on the abilities they have which may simply be an eye blink, a tiny movement of a thumb to answer a question, or perhaps a consistent head movement. SLPs utilize the best intervention-assistive devices to enable students to express their needs and wants, answer yes-no questions, make choices, interactive play, and use apps.
Sessions are intensive and coupled with the intentionality model. Sessions are tailored to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of the child. SLPs strive to get the voice of each child known to their families, friends, caregivers, and medical providers and use every context to facilitate language. There is a range of AAC systems for each level of development: from the Tobii Eye Gaze to a single message switch, to a basic picture exchange system. The department believes in creating the context for situations that are meaningful, which will lead to increased outcomes
student using a communicative device during a speech therapy session