Publications >May E-Newsletter> ACAT Clinic
The Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology (ACAT) Clinic
The Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology (ACAT) Clinic at Franciscan Hospital for Children treats patients who are functionally non-speaking or whose speech is severely impaired. The clinic is comprised of a speech-language pathologist and an occupational therapist who are specialists in the field of AAC. Other specialists within the hospital, such as a physical therapist or audiologist, can be involved on an as-needed basis.
This team of experts evaluates a patient’s current communication needs and identifies possible aids, strategies, and techniques that could meet those needs. In addition to assessing the communication needs of a patient and making recommendations, this team of experts assists in AAC systems design and training for both the patient and his/her team of caregivers. Guidance for funding of systems is also provided.
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Patients who are seen at the clinic have a wide range of disorders that impact their ability to communicate utilizing speech alone.
Their clinical diagnoses may include Cerebral Palsy, Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Down Syndrome, Apraxia of Speech, Congenital Malformations/Abnormalities, Vision Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Mental Retardation.
Within its Lending Library, the ACAT Clinic at Franciscan Hospital for Children has a large inventory of the latest mid-level to high tech augmentative communication devices. The Lending Library offers our patients the opportunity to explore a wide array of technological options that best meet their communication needs. The Lending Library receives periodic funding from generous benefactors in order to ensure that obsolete AAC equipment is frequently replaced.
The clinicians in the ACAT Clinic have extensive experience in providing services in both school and hospital settings and therefore have the ability to offer broad-based perspectives on a child’s communication needs. To ensure that each patient benefits from a continuum of care, the ACAT clinic offers extensive follow-up services that include training caregivers and school personnel in the implementation and use of recommended AAC equipment.
In its effort to provide current and up-to-date information, the ACAT Clinic is initiating a monthly group meeting for parents of children who utilize augmentative communication devices. These monthly group meetings will facilitate an informal discussion on a variety of topics related to the use of AAC and serve as a forum for parents to share their experiences.
To learn more about the ACAT Clinic or the AAC monthly group meetings, please call Rebecca at 617-254-3800, ext 5643 or email email@example.com.
Story/Compilation:Rebecca Therriault, M.S., CF-SLPStella Teyegaga, M.H.A