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Case Studies

Using AVAZ to Enhance Communicative Abilities of a Child with Cerebral Palsy

Author:

Sita Sreekumar

Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, National Institute of Speech and Hearing, IN
About Sita

The author is an Audiologist and Speech Language Pathologist at National Institute of Speech & Hearing, Trivandrum, Kerala. Her areas of interest are cochlear implant rehabilitation and augmentative and alternative communication in children with developmental disabilities.

 
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Abstract

Communication difficulties associated with cerebral palsy can be multifactorial, arising from motor, intellectual and / or sensory impairments. Affected children can experience mild to severe difficulties in expression. Those with little or no functional speech frequently rely on non-speech communication systems to augment or replace natural speech. These systems include speech generating devices (SGDs). AVAZ is a portable speech synthesizer which can be controlled by the gross motor movements of a child with cerebral palsy.

Purpose: This case study describes the outcomes of a pilot investigation that utilised AVAZ as a means of enhancing functional communication in a young girl with cerebral palsy.

Method: A 7-year-old girl with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs was trained for 10 sessions to develop requesting ability by pointing to the desired pictures on the AVAZ.

Results: After the training sessions, the child showed improvement in social interaction and functional communication.

Conclusions and Implication: The collaborative efforts of an interdisciplinary team, comprising a speech pathologist, a physiotherapist, parents of the child and a social worker, made it possible to enhance the child’s confidence and functional communication using AVAZ.

Hence it is important to pursue client-oriented, innovative and collaborative intervention approaches among team members.

How to Cite: Sreekumar, S., 2014. Using AVAZ to Enhance Communicative Abilities of a Child with Cerebral Palsy. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 25(1), pp.95–102. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v25i1.289
Published on 19 May 2014.

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