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AAC in cerebral palsy: its effects of using and not using in a Brazilian institution

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Objective: To verify repercussions of using and not using the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in cerebral palsy (CP). Method: It is a cross-sectional study, approved by the Research Ethics Committee under #1.073.898/2015, with a 30-participants sample divided into people with cerebral palsy (n= 15) from a Brazilian philanthropic institution and their mothers (n=15). Semi-structured interviews with mothers and video recordings of people with CP were used for data collection. Results: All of the people with CP were introduced to AAC, but one of the mothers says it is no longer necessary for her son. This resource is used at home/institution (n= 6), school/institution (n= 2), home/school/institution (n= 1), only in the institution (n= 6); two of the mothers emphasized need for home use. All mothers affirmed their children had their own forms of communication (looks, facial expressions, gestures, pointing) and that AAC did not compromise speech. All reported some benefit in communication, interaction, cognition or autonomy and independence. All CP people use of their own forms of communication, associated or not to production of speech and the AAC use could be observed in the videos. The contextualized use of AAC by the communication partner improved comprehension of activities by all participants with CP and its importance was reaffirmed by one of the mothers. Conclusion: Results show repercussion of AAC on different developmental aspects in people with cerebral palsy, including their own forms of communication, demonstrated in practice by users and reiterated in mothers’ reports.

Author(s):

Ana Ramos    
University of Campinas (Unicamp)
Brazil

Regina Chun    
University of Campinas
Brazil

 

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