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: What areas are assessed by AAC specialists evaluating individuals with ALS? 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.
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- augmentative and alternative communication
- decision making
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing