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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tamara Stone, MS, CCC-SLP(Communication Consultations)
Description: This book provides an introduction to augmentative communication to help improve the communicative functioning of individuals with autism.
Purpose: Joanne M. Cafiero has written a book to provide an overview of aided communication systems. It is written for parents and teachers as well specialists to be used as an additional reference for working with individuals needing or using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. This book has a place on the resource list of practitioners working with families of persons with autism who would like to discuss the use of AAC devices to facilitate and augment communication.
Audience: It is intended for families of persons who are using or who might benefit from AAC systems. It also provides an introduction to professionals about augmentative and alternative communication. The author uses vignettes to help in discussing the various types of AAC available for persons with autism.
Features: This book provides readers with information about no, low, and high tech AAC devices available on the market and how they might be used to benefit various individuals. In addition, it provides a primer on how assessment for AAC is conducted, how AAC devices are introduced to individuals, how these devices are adapted for a user, and how a user advances from one device to another. Also included is information on laws relating to AAC devices, additional sources of information regarding AAC, and sources for finding AAC systems. The book was written to be ready for print before IDEA 2004 had been adopted and does not provide the most updated information available regarding AAC devices and federal law. The author acknowledges this and offers sources through web sites and addresses in order to find the most current information regarding augmentative communication for individuals in the public school system.
Assessment: This will provide families with solid information to help them to be an active team member in the development and implementation of augmentative communication for persons with autism. The book should be added to the loan library of every practitioner working with AAC and individuals with autism. Practitioners wanting to gain some insight into this important aspect of serving individuals with impaired communication will find this an excellent introduction, with references to additional resources that will increase their knowledge base.