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SUPPORTING ADULT AAC DEVICE USERS THROUGH A PEER GROUP AND CONSULTING

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Taking a communication device to active use is a challenging process. This process doesn’t involve only the user himself but also the persons he is in contact with on the daily basis. Also interacting with same aged peers with the same AAC device/program gives positive feedback and supports self-esteem.
Based on Communication and Technology Centre Tikoteekki’s inquiry the units of health care feel that they cannot give as much guidance as it is needed when giving an AAC device to the client. This is a common problem in all units nationwide in Finland.
Based on this information we established a group for young adult AAC users with the same device and background. The aim was to focus on the progress in using the device as also creating an interactive bondage between the fellow group members. Also the supporting persons got guidance on operating the device.
As a conclusion of this group experience it is obvious that peer groups are empowering, educational and supportive in making the best out of an AAC device. It is also obvious that it takes lots of practice to take an advanced AAC device / program into active use.
It is obvious that there should be permanent groups and activities for AAC users where they could socialize with each others, get positive impact of using their own AAC device – as do the others.

Author(s):

Annakaisa Ojanen    
Communication and Technology Centre Tikoteekki
Finland

 

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