Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC)
The Autism Society Inland Empire has been working in this field since 2012. According to the 2017 Autism and Heath Report, an estimated one-third of people with autism are nonverbal. However, many can communicate nonverbally to some degree, sometimes with the help of visual support and assisted communication devices.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) refers to communication methods that help or replace speaking or writing for individuals who struggle to production or comprehend spoken or written language. AAC includes simple systems such as pictures, gestures, and pointing and more complex techniques involving computer technology. The goal of AAC is to achieve the most effective communication possible for the individual to maximize their potential and lead the highest quality of life possible.
Individuals with autism tend to use “Aided AAC” or AAC that uses tools or materials, including Symbol boards, Choice cards, Communication books, Keyboards and alphabet charts, Speech-generating devices, communication devices, or AAC apps on mobile devices.
Look for our annual AAC Workshop!
“AAC and Autism: Using Communication Devices for Non-Verbal Children” – https://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/giving-voice-non-verbal-children-autism-aac-autism/
ASHA: “Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)” https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/AAc/
Augmentative Communication Therapies
625 Fair Oaks, Ave., Suite 101 South Pasadena
Cynthia, A. Cottier, M.A., M.Ed., CCC, is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has been working in the field of Augmentative and Alternative, Communication (AAC) since 1980. She has extensive experience working directly with individuals ranging in age from 2 to 75+ years and of all disabilities. In addition, Ms. Cottier has vast knowledge of a wide variety of state-of-the-art augmentative and assistive systems, techniques and strategies.
Susan Berkowitz, M.S., M.Ed., C.C.C., SLP
San Diego, CA
Susan Berkowitz is a speech therapist who serves the San Diego and Orange County areas. She also serves Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and occasionally Imperial County. She has been in practice for over 30 years, and she provides AAC assessments for no-tech, low-tech, and high-tech solutions for people with communication difficulties. She conducts environmental evaluations for the implementation of communication skills programs. She consults to schools, parents, day programs, and residential programs, and she assists with setting intervention programs into place. She will also provide programming and training of AAC devices for her clients.
High Desert Speech and Language Center
16785 Bear Valley Road Suite #2, Hesperia, California 92345
This clinic can assist with Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), AAC assessments and Relationship Development Intervention. The center accepts private health insurance and credit cards.
Darlene Hanson, MA – CCC
Online S2C and RPM Coaching for Families with Unreliably- and Non-Speaking Children with Autism
Lucid Speech and Language Center
Megan McCann, M.A., CCC-SLP
25102 Jefferson Avenue, Suite D, Murrieta (951) 461.1190
11870 Pierce Street, Suite 150, Riverside (951) 808.5850
27192 Newport Rd, Suite 1, Menifee (951) 566.4444
31205 Pauba Road, Suite 103, Temecula (951) 951.693.9600
This clinic has speech therapists who practice in the area of augmentative and alternative communication and who can perform AAC assessments for a wide range of devices. The clinic accepts most major forms of health insurance and payment by credit card.
Resource for Education, Advocacy, Communication and Housing (REACH)
9300 Santa Fe Springs Rd., Santa Fe Springs
Formerly known as Whittier Area Parents Association for the Developmentally Handicapped (WAPADH), now is REACH. Speech and Language, AAC, FC evaluations and therapy, FC and Communication Partners training. Darlene is a speech and language specialist with an expertise in working with individuals with severe communication impairments. She is the Director of Communication Services with WAPADH, in the Los Angeles area. Darlene has been working in this field for over 20 years. Her work focuses on bringing alternate modes of communication to those who do not use speech to communicate effectively. Currently, she is focusing on training the communication partners to increase the communication. At WAPADH they provide speech and language assessments, therapy, and training, as well as services related to Augmentative Communication. This is available to families as private clients and to school systems through the Non-Public Agency status for schools in California. Trainings and coaching are available locally, throughout California, and out of state.
Sensibilities Therapy Group
6800 Brockton Avenue, Riverside, CA 92506 951.779.1966
9050 Pulsar Court, Suite A, Corona, CA 92883 951.603.3119
73733 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 204, Palm Desert 92260 760.849.4422
Full-service clinics in Riverside, Corona and Plam Desert equipped with the expertise to work with the developmentally disabled. We provide services in the areas of speech and language, occupational therapy including feeding therapy. We are also able to target behavior management concerns within the therapeutic environment and outside consulting. AAC services (including evaluations/device placement) and social groups for a variety of ages.
Speech and Language Development Center
43385 Business Park Dr, #140 Temecula, CA 92590
8699 Holder Street, Buena Park CA 90620
The Speech and Language Development Center has speech therapists on staff who do AAC assessments for children and youth who have communication disabilities. The center offers a school of its own, but it also contracts with many local schools, families, and regional centers. The center provides services for children from six months of age up to individuals who are 21 years old.
Wings Speech and Language Services
1500 S Haven Ave Suite 190, Ontario
12021 Jacaranda Ave. Suite #301 Hesperia CA
Speech pathologist can perform AAC assessments and PPO private health insurance, Healthy Families and private pay.
Villa Esperanza Services
2116 E Villa St, Pasadena
Offers a variety of services including functional Communication Training; Intro to Augmentative and Alternative Communication; Visually Supports for Communication; iPads for Autism – Communicative, Educational, and Recreational Benefits of Mobile Technologies.
Autism Society Options Policy
This Resource Guide was developed to provide families and professionals with an opportunity to find resources related to autism in the Inland Empire in one place.
All information provided or published by the Autism Society Inland Empire is for information purposes only. Specific treatment, therapy or services should be provided to an individual only at the direction of the individual’s doctor, caregiver, or other qualified professional. References to any treatment or therapy option, program, service, or treatment provider are not an endorsement by the Autism Society. References of treatments, therapies, programs, services, and/or providers are not intended to be comprehensive statements. You should investigate alternatives that may be more appropriate for a specific individual. The Autism Society assumes no responsibility for the use made of any information published or provided. The Autism Society Inland Empire provides information, but it does not constitute medical or legal information. Referrals provided are suggestions to organizations that might help, but do not constitute a recommendation. The Autism Society Inland Empire cannot be held responsible for consequences that arise from individual dealings with a professional or organization. The inclusion of any organization does not imply endorsement, and omission does not imply disapproval. The Autism Society Inland Empire may add or remove organizations from this list at its discretion.