Late AAC Assessment for Individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amy S. Nordness, Laura J. Ball, Susan Fager, David R. Beukelman, Gary L. Pattee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Timely referrals for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) assessments are crucial for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in order to continue social participation, decision-making, and become proficient in using AAC strategies to communicate. The purposes of this study were (1) to identify people with ALS for whom the AAC assessment was delayed and (2) to document the factors that result in a late AAC assessment. The Nebraska ALS Database was reviewed to identify people with ALS for whom AAC assessment was delayed. The reasons leading to these delays were investigated by interviewing the AAC specialists who provided intervention services, as well as surviving family members when necessary. According to referral guidelines outlined by Ball, Beukelman, and Bardach (2007), 12% of people included in the Database received a late AAC assessment. Ninety-three percent of the assessments were delayed because of late referral, and 7% were delayed because of factors related to the individuals with ALS. Suggestions are made to assist medical personnel to make timely AAC assessment referrals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing

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