Early Intervention is provided for Infants and Toddlers in the home and is funded by Regional Centers. Infants and Toddlers identified as being at risk for developing speech (due to their medical diagnosis or generalized developmental delays) are referred for a comprehensive AAC evaluation. The referral to ACTS should occur when the toddler is 18-24 months old, allowing sufficient time to conduct a comprehensive (30 hour) evaluation and intervention plan. AAC interventions are multi-modal in nature and utilize the toddler’s full communication capabilities (nonverbal, verbal, and aided communication). ACTS works collaboratively with developmental therapists, OT, PT, and Speech working with the child. Parents are involved in the evaluation and intervention and learn how to support their child’s multimodal communication. The ACTS Associates will also help transition the preschool child at age 3 when they are identified for special education and enter an educational program.
School Aged Children who have limited or no verbal speech require an AAC evaluation and services. Students who have specific challenges with traditional writing tools, written language composition, reading, math, and organization require AT evaluation and services. Students who are unable to communicate effectively with speech, have difficulty understanding and using oral language, or have significantly reduced speech intelligibility require an Augmentative Communication. ACTS Associates serve primarily in the role of AAC or AT Specialist for school aged children in the public schools. They conduct comprehensive AAC and AT educationally based evaluations as well as medically based Speech Generating Device (SGD) and Replacement Evaluations for advanced level Speech Generating Devices. ACTS is experienced in procuring SGDs through public and private insurance as well as the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP).
Adults with developmental disabilities can obtain AAC or SGD evaluations through Regional Center. Many adults served by ACTS were our clients during childhood and need assistance for SGD Device Replacement or for training care and service providers in their adult program settings (e.g. Pomeroy Center, Group Home, Community College, Clubs, and other recreational settings). Regional Center will authorize evaluation and services but require quarterly progress reporting demonstrating benefit. For adults with developmental disabilities, SGD Replacement can be purchased through private insurance and/or Medi-Cal. Adults with acquired injuries such as Stroke, ALS, MS, Head Trauma or other neurological injuries should contact Amy Roman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy Roman was a former ACTS Associate and was a CF mentored by Dr. Buzolich. She now is a leading AAC Specialist serving individuals with ALS and other acquired neurological injuries. (See http://amyandpals.com/).
ACTS has provided mentorship programs to speech and language pathologists who want to develop a specialty in AAC. ACTS offers an annual Clinical Fellowship-AAC Mentorship position and pairs the CF with a Senior Associate who co-treats and mentors the CF for a full year. Chris Toomey has served as an AT Mentor, and Diane Russell and Dana Albrecht serve as AAC Mentors. Dr. Buzolich serves as co-mentor. ACTS is also willing to mentor qualified public school AAC/AT Specialists and Speech/Language Pathologists. School Districts can contact ACTS for information about mentorship agreements.
ACTS is available to provide consultation to professionals, families, agencies, school districts, and other parties seeking information about Augmentative Communication or Assistive Technology. In some cases Consultation is specific to an individual who uses AAC/AT. In those cases we would need to do a case review of the client’s records prior to offering any professional opinion. Click Here for More Information
ACTS is now providing TeleAAC Evaluation and TeleAAC Services using secure video conferencing apps. We are providing a range of synchronous (interactive services with client and adult partner) as well as asynchronous (instructional material, recorded sessions, and activities) shared with families and clients.
Dr. Buzolich has developed educational programs and services for children who need Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology using the resources available in the public schools. In addition ACTS has worked with school districts to develop AAC and AT service delivery models to meet the needs of all students who require AAC/AT. Dr. Buzolich and the senior ACTS associates are available to work with districts on developing a plan. This typically begins with a district wide survey to gather census information and identifying the training needs of the district staff. ACTS will work with the district to put a plan in place that is aligned with the cultural values of the school community. In some school districts that translates to specialized classroom programs such as the AAC Classroom or AAC Cluster (2 or more students in a SDC using AAC) while in others there is greater emphasis on full inclusion. Models for delivering AAC and AT services in school districts vary with the size of the district, the demand for services, and the internal resources available. ACTS can help schools develop a sustainable Plan. Click Here for More Information