Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Services | Denver’s Experts in Providing AAC Services to Children in Need

​Augmentative and Alternative Communication Services provide a specialized service within the Pediatric Speech Therapy Associates’ Clinic. Pediatric Speech Therapy Associates provide resources, programming, and therapeutic instruction for individuals who are unable to learn functional communication through traditional speech-language therapy. All services are provided under the direction of certified professionals. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to the supplementation or replacement of speech using unaided or aided methods. These methods include the use of sign language systems and communication boards, as well as sophisticated computer-based systems that may produce voice.

AAC Services include
•Access to a full range of state of the art communication aids.
•Access to a variety of switches which may allow persons with severe physical disabilities access to communication aids.
•Follow-up recommendations and therapy to insure appropriate use of equipment.
•Customized instruction programs for implementation by teachers, therapists, and other professionals.
•Recommendations for the use of communication systems in vocational and educational settings.
•Resource information
•Professional training, consultation, and workshops for families and health educational, and vocational agencies.

Leading our Augmentative and Alternative Communication services at Pediatric Speech Therapy Associates is Shelly Elfner, MS, CCC-SLP.

Shelly Elfner earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and her Speech Pathology license in the state of Colorado. Most recently, Shelly worked as a Faculty Instructor and Assistive Technology Specialist in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. As a Speech Pathologist at the University of Colorado, Shelly was part of a team of clinicians and engineers providing Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) evaluations and follow-up services and Assistive Technology (AT) evaluations and for children and adults with multiple disabilities. Shelly spent time outside of the clinic working on the SWAAAC Project supporting the public school assistive technology professionals across the state as well as coordinating several research projects as part of the Research Engineering Rehabilitation Center for the Advancement of Cognitive Technologies (RERC-ACT). In the past few years, Shelly has enjoyed presenting locally and nationally on topics such as AAC, assistive technology assessment, assistive technology implementation, assistive technology for literacy, and educational tools for children with Autism.

Shelly also worked in the public schools in Wisconsin and Colorado for several years. She specialized in providing services for children with expressive and receptive language disorders, articulation or phonologic disorders, apraxia, autism and complex communication disorders. Shelly has a passion for combining literacy when working with children to promote language development. She feels that it is essential to work as a multidisciplinary team in order to facilitate a child’s success, growth and generalization of skills.

Learn more about Shelly’s areas of expertise:

-Advanced Assistive Technology Training Program
Introduction to PROMPT: Technique
-Literacy for Students with Significant Support Needs
-Every Move Counts, Clicks and Chats
-Matching Autism Characteristics to Technology
-Access Methods in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
-The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

All of our therapists are accredited by the Professional Services Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment please give us a call at 720-542-8737 to determine availability.