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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE
Rivista di Medicina Fisica e Riabilitativa dopo Eventi Patologici
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Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2010 June;46(2):147-52
Augmentative and alternative communication in adolescents with severe intellectual disability: a clinical experience
Uliano D. 1, Falciglia G. 1, Del Viscio C. 1, Picelli A. 2,3, Gandolfi M. 2,3, Passarella A. 1 ✉
1 Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine A.S.R.E.M., Campobasso, Italy;
2 Neuromotor and Cognitive Rehabilitation Research Centre, University of Verona, Verona, Italy;
3 Department of Neurological and Visual Sciences, Neurorehabilitation Section, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
AIM: Augmentative and alternative communication devices proved to be effective in patients with severe intellectual disability to overcome their communication impairments. In order to give a contribution for design of augmentative and alternative communication systems that better meet the needs of beginning communicators we decided to report our clinical experience about using augmentative and alternative communication in adolescents with severe intellectual disability.
METHODS: Five patients who underwent a long time traditional speech rehabilitation program (at least 5 years) with scant improvements in linguistic function were recruited and evaluated by means of the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scale before and after a three years augmentative and alternative communication intervention carried out by a multidisciplinary team.
RESULTS: After the rehabilitative intervention patients showed an improvement in communication, daily living skills and socialization as measured by the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scale.
CONCLUSION: Augmentative and alternative communication is an effective rehabilitation approach to people with severe intellectual disability and impairments in linguistic expression. Moreover augmentative and alternative communication is a useful tool allowing these patients to increase their social participation also enhancing their self-esteem. Our clinical experience confirmed these topics also in adolescents who underwent a long time traditional speech rehabilitation program with scant improvements, providing practical information to clinicians.