Alternative Communication

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) includes methods, systems, tools and strategies to support a person who has severe difficulty in communicating through speech only. This includes augmentative means to add to speech to make the message clearer to listeners and alternative means to use instead of speech. AAC is divided into high and low technology methods, and people of all ages can use these if they have serious difficulties in speaking or expressing themselves.


TEACCH – Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children: This method is based on the basic principles of structured education which are: the organization of the natural environment, the expected sequence of activities, the visual programme, routines and flexibility and visually structured activities.


PODD – Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display: PODD is a book or device and is an integrated communication system. It contains symbols and words to support communication between people with communication difficulties and their conversation partners who may be family, carers, friends or therapists.


PECS – Picture Exchange Communication System: PECS is a way for people with communication difficulties to communicate functionally, without using speech. They use cards, symbols, words or pictures to communicate and in order to ask for something, comment on something or ask a question.