Communication for Adults With Developmental Disabilities Kudos to Carrie Kane for her July 2015 Leader article, “Are We Ready for Growing AAC Needs in Group Homes?” I’ve been a speech-language pathologist for 28 years, currently a clinical supervisor in a university setting. For the first 12 years, I contracted primarily to medical-based sites. I also traveled ... Inbox
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Communication for Adults With Developmental Disabilities
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Inbox   |   September 01, 2015
Communication for Adults With Developmental Disabilities
The ASHA Leader, September 2015, Vol. 20, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.IN.20092015.4
The ASHA Leader, September 2015, Vol. 20, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.IN.20092015.4
Kudos to Carrie Kane for her July 2015 Leader article, “Are We Ready for Growing AAC Needs in Group Homes?” I’ve been a speech-language pathologist for 28 years, currently a clinical supervisor in a university setting. For the first 12 years, I contracted primarily to medical-based sites. I also traveled to group homes for adults with developmental disabilities (DD) to provide evaluations, development of communication and swallowing programs, and staff training to implement the programs. I also led staff in-services on communication skills and behavior management.
The SLP’s involvement in these services is imperative, as Kane details, because adults with DD are living longer and a skilled nursing facility may not be the appropriate setting for them. She underscores the importance of SLPs’ consideration of the services necessary to enable adults with DD to successfully communicate, and of staff training to understand the diverse modalities in which these adults communicate. Although I had no formal academic training in communication disorders for adults with DD, I enjoyed the problem-solving, interdisciplinary treatment planning and collaboration with home staff required to serve these clients. Thank you, Carrie Kane, for bringing this situation to light for those who may want to expand their clinical service provision, either through contracts with community mental health agencies or rehabilitation companies that provide therapeutic staff to group homes.
Kathryn Atkinson, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

Thank you for sharing your perspective on speech-language services to adults with developmental disabilities. You can learn more about the use of augmentative and alternative communication across all ages on this module from the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons With Severe Disabilities.

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September 2015
Volume 20, Issue 9