Data Collection for AAC Trials

Data collection is a very important part of AAC device trials.  In order to make solid decisions regarding the mode of AAC a student will need, we first need to get a baseline on the means and effectiveness of the student’s present communication, whether it is speech, sign language, a communication board, picture exchange, talking switch, other technology, or a combination of any of these.  Then we need good data on the student’s performance with the various AAC systems that are tried.  Using the same data collection form for baseline and trial data provides reliable comparison, something that the school districts and insurance companies require before making funding decisions.There are many resources for data forms, which you can explore from this link:  http://praacticalaac.org/praactical/5-resources-for-aac-data-collection/.  I have made up a form, which is posted on Speaking of Speech.com under Lesson Plans & Data Forms.  You can also make up your own form, if that is more workable for you.  The important point is that data will be needed from pre-trial performance, as well as performance during the trials with whatever AAC systems are tried.  Because a student will be communicating throughout the school day, the entire team (not just the SLP) should be involved in collecting this data, and everyone should have a clear understanding of what to look for and how to measure it.  If you are contemplating a SETT referral or AAC device trial for a student for AAC, you should start collecting data now to establish that pre-intervention baseline.

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