Augmentative and Alternative Communication Assessment in Adults With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Results of Semi-Structured Interviews

Miechelle McKelvey, Kristy S.E. Weissling, Shelley K. Lund, Wendy Quach, Aimee Dietz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This phenomenological qualitative study explored how eight speech-language pathology specialists in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) (who self-identified as adult-focused) would approach the AAC assessment process when presented with a case study of an adult with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The general research questions were (a) What areas are assessed by AAC specialists evaluating individuals with ALS and (b) How do specialists evaluate the areas identified. In all, four themes emerged: (a) Area of Assessment, (b) Method of Assessment, (c) Patient Education, and (d) Decision Criteria. These results support authoritative models of AAC assessment. AAC assessment is a complex task and understanding the behaviors of specialists, as outlined in this article, may be a first step in assisting general practice SLPs to complete AAC assessments for individuals with ALS with greater confidence and comfort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCommunication Disorders Quarterly
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • assessment
  • augmentative and alternative communication
  • decision making
  • evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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