When an individual has a severe verbal communication impairment, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can meet the overall goals of palliative care. AAC can improve quality of life by optimizing function, assisting with decision making, and providing opportunities for personal growth. This article will define AAC and its importance in the medical management of a person with ALS. The process of obtaining an electronic AAC device, issues affecting use, and communication challenges and obstacles unique to ALS will be described including dysarthria and the diagnostic testing for speech and rationale for AAC. Communication solutions, which may include no-technology, low-technology and high-technology options will be discussed, as well as the importance of psychosocial issues and the factors that may influence the use of these systems.
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