site glossary

This glossary will explain many words, phrases and abbreviations used across the site.

 


Where the Communication Matters website contains definitions, this glossary links to those definitions.


Are you new to AAC?

Are you new here?

This website is all about Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) methods and aids that can be used by people who have little or no clear speech. To get you started have a look at our FAQs and factsheets.

Hopefully the links below will give you some quick routes to start finding your way round.

What is AAC? 
You'll find plenty of information here explaining augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and providing plenty of useful links and definitions such as  aphasiacerebral palsylocked-in syndrome  to give you a bit more information.

 

CM-AAC Forum 
The Communication Matters website has an  online AAC forum as well as plenty of other resources that may be of interest to you. 

 

Here are some words typically used when describing people's communication: voice, language, speech, and hearing difficulties affecting children and adults expressing themselves.

  • aphasia - dysphasia  - complete or partial loss of language and communication skills, usually after suffering a stroke
  • apraxia - dyspraxia  - inability to perform movements with normal accuracy, although physically able and willing to do them
  • dysarthria  - speech that is slurred, slow, and difficult to understand

 



You may be interested in resources which have been labelled with some medical descriptions and terms. This evidence covers a range of topics, such as employment, role models and funding.

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder & Asperger syndrome (ASD) - congenital conditions that affect people in a spectrum of ways, characterised by difficulties with social interaction
  • Cerebral Palsy (CP) - chronic conditions affecting body movements and muscle coordination, caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain
  • Complex communication needs (CCN) - people with severe communication impairments; including autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and multiple disabilities
  • Dementia  - a set of progressive symptoms including loss of memory, mood changes, and problems with communication and reasoning: the most common types are Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia
  • Developmental-learning disabilitiy  - difficulty understanding new or complex information and affecting communication
  • Locked-in syndrome  - a rare neurological disorder characterised by complete paralysis in all parts of the body except for those that control eye movement, resulting from traumatic brain injury or diseases affecting circulation or nerve cells: thinking and reasoning function normally, but there is inability to speak or move
  • Motor neurone disease (MND)  - a progressive condition that damages the nervous system, leaving muscles wasted and weak: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common degenerative disease of the motor neuron(e) system, with the term reserved for the form that involves upper and lower motor neuron(e)s
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)  - a neurological condition, normally diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 40, with a set of physical symptoms: vision, balance, fatigue, bladder, bowel, spasms, tremor, speech and swallowing
  • Parkinson's disease  - a progressive neurological condition, mainly affecting people aged 50+, where a lack of the chemical 'dopamine' causes movements to become slower and a tremor develops
  • Spinal injury  - injuries to the cervical spinal cord may result in dysarthria
  • Stroke-CVA  - medical term for sudden loss of sensation and control caused by rupture or obstruction of a blood vessel of the brain e.g. a blood clot; may be referred to as CVA - cerebrovascular accident
  • Brain injury (TBI)  - acquired traumatic brain injury from damage to the brain; symptoms include slurred speech

December 2012.

abbreviations used

Please refer to our glossary for further descriptions.


AAC – augmentative and alternative communication

ALD – adult/s with a learning disability

ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

ASD – autistic spectrum disorder/s

AT – assistive technology / assistive technologist

BSL – British sign language

CCN – complex communication needs

CP – cerebral palsy

CVA – cerebrovascular accident

FC – facilitated communication

HD – Huntington’s disease

ICU – intensive care unit

ITU – intensive treatment unit

LSA – learning support assistant / classroom assistant

MDT – multi-disciplinary team

MND – motor neuron/e disease

MS – multiple sclerosis

OT – occupational therapy / therapist

PA – personal assistant

PD – Parkinson’s disease

PECS – picture exchange communication system

PMLD – profound and multiple learning difficulties

PT – physiotherapy / therapist

PwuAAC – person who uses AAC

R&D – research and development

SEN – special educational needs

SGD – speech generating device

SLCN – speech, language and communication needs 

SLI – specific language impairment

SLP – speech and language pathology / pathologist

SLT – speech and language therapy / therapist

TBI – traumatic brain injury

VOCA – voice output communication aid/s 


December 2012

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site information

Core AAC terms

Core AAC terms are defined on the Communication Matters website.



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AAC
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aided communication
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VOCA
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unaided communication

communication difficulties

voice, language, speech, and hearing difficulties children and adults may have expressing themselves


aphasia - loss of language and communication skills, usually after suffering a stroke: also see dysphasia

Aphasia can affect how you speak, your ability to understand what is being said, and your reading or writing skills.

Stroke Association


Aphasia is a general term for language disorders (reading, writing, speaking or comprehension of written or spoken words) due to cerebral dysfunction.

Scope

 

apraxia - loss of ability to perform skilled, purposeful movements and gestures with normal accuracy, although physically able and willing to do them: also see dyspraxia

Apraxia/dyspraxia is an inability to perform purposeful movements where muscle weakness is not apparent (not related to paralysis or lack of comprehension and usually refers to total loss rather than impairment).

Scope

 

dysarthria - speech that is slurred, slow, and difficult to understand

Dysarthria happens due to weakness of the muscles you use to speak. If you have dysarthria, your voice may sound different and you may have difficulty speaking clearly.

Stroke Association


Dysarthria is imperfect production of the sounds used in speech due to lack of muscle control from damage to the peripheral nervous system.

Scope

 

dysphagia 

Dysphagia is difficulty in swallowing.

 

dysphasia -  partial or complete impairment of the ability to communicate: also see aphasia

Dysphasia is an inability to understand the spoken or written work due to cerebral lesion - [less severe than Aphasia].

Scope

 

dyspraxia – verbal dyspraxia is a difficulty forming words and letters when speaking because of a partial difficulty performing co-ordinated movements, which is not related to muscle weakness [or comprehension]: also see apraxia

Dyspraxia of speech happens when you cannot move muscles in the correct order and sequence to make the sounds needed for clear speech. You may not be able to pronounce words clearly.

Stroke Association


Dyspraxia/Apraxia is difficulty in carrying out purposeful movements to order, which is not related to muscle weakness [or comprehension].

Scope

 


December 2012

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communication difficulties
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aphasia
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apraxia
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dysarthria
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dysphagia
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dysphasia
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dyspraxia

medical descriptions and terms

Conditions where AAC may help in communication exist at birth or may be acquired in later life.

acquired – a disease or condition/characteristic that is not congenital but develops after birth; common acquired conditions include stroke/CVA, brain injury, brain tumour, dementia, motor neuron(e) disease (MND), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease and Huntington’s disease. These conditions are more common to adults than children.

congenital/developmental – a disease or condition/characteristic that is present at birth and affects a child’s development throughout his/her life. Examples include cerebral palsy (CP), autism (ASD) or Asperger syndrome, Down's syndrome and other learning disabilities, multiple disabilities and complex communication needs (CCN).


amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

An acquired and degenerative condition, most often affecting people in the 40 to 70 year age group.

amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – the most common degenerative disease of the motor neuron(e) system, with the term reserved for the form of MND that involves upper and lower motor neuron(e)s: see also motor neuron(e) disease (MND).

MND is more commonly used as a generic term in the UK, with ALS a term more commonly used in the US.

The disease affects the motor cells (neurones) in the brain and spinal cord. Without nerves to control the muscles, there is loss of control to move around, speak, swallow and breathe. Symptoms may include muscle weakness/waste and paralysis. In most cases ALS does not affect intellect, memory or the senses.


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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acquired
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ALS
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motor neurone disease (MND)

Asperger syndrome

A developmental condition, which is a form of autism.

Asperger syndrome – Asperger syndrome is a form of autism, where people have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language: see also autism spectrum disorders (ASD).


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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children
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congenital
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Asperger's
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autism (ASD)

autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

A developmental, spectrum condition, which affects children throughout their lives.

autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – often referred to simply as 'autism'; this congenital condition is a spectrum disorder because it affects people in a variety of ways and to varying degrees, characterised by difficulties with social interaction. See also Asperger syndromecomplex communication needs (CCN) and developmental-learning disabilities.

Communication is commonly affected because social interaction is a two-way process. Additionally, many children with an ASD are delayed in their use of language.


Useful information available at


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adults
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children
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congenital
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autism (ASD)

brain injury / head injury (TBI)

An acquired condition, resulting from a trauma to the head. 

brain injury / head injury (traumatic brain injury - TBI) – occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain; possible causes include road traffic accidents, assaults, falls and other accidents.

Communication problems are common after a brain injury and many people experience more than one area of difficulty, depending on the areas of the brain affected and the severity of the injury.

  • language impairment - aphasia/dysphasia
  • disorders of speech affecting speech clarity and control - dysarthria and dyspraxia
  • cognitive communication difficulties also affect communication, including memory impairment and attention difficulties.

Useful information available at


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adults
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children
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acquired
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brain injury (TBI)

brain tumour

An acquired condition, which may affect children or adults.

brain tumour – various malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous) tumours can damage brain tissue and interfere with various functions, including muscle weakness and problems with balance, co-ordination, vision, hearing, speech, communication or swallowing.

A brain tumour may cause these symptoms because the space it takes up in the skull puts pressure on the brain, or because it is disturbing the function of the part of the brain it's growing in.


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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children
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acquired
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brain tumour

cerebral palsy (CP)

A developmental condition, with symptoms usually evident during the first three years of life.

cerebral palsy (CP) – a group of chronic neurological conditions affecting body movements and muscle co-ordination, caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain. CP exists at birth and is not progressive. Cerebral means related to the brain or cerebrum and palsy refers to complete or partial muscle paralysis.

There are different types of cerebral palsy and no two people are affected in the same way. Effects may be mild or much more profound and some people with cerebral palsy may, for example, have learning disabilities or be deaf. Speech may be difficult where facial muscles are affected and other problems with vision, hearing, motor skills or cognitive skills will affect communication.

See also complex communication needs (CCN) and developmental-learning disabilities.


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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children
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congenital
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cerebral palsy (CP)

cerebral palsy jargon buster

Here are some of the terms you might hear from medical and other professionals in the field of cerebral palsy.

These terms have been taken from Scope Disability Charity and you can find further links on their site. This list is by no means exhaustive and they say it is regularly reviewed.

You should also refer to our glossary.


  • ADL ‘Activity of daily living' usually used in the plural form to refer to self-care activities such as washing and bathing
  • Acalculia Form of aphasia demonstrated by an inability to do the most simple calculations
  • Abduction Movement of a limb outwards and away from the midline of the body
  • Adduction Movement of a limb inwards and towards the midline of the body
  • Aetiology The study of what is known about the cause of a disease
  • Agnosia Inability to recognise objects or sounds due to lack of perceptive capacity, although general intelligence is normal
  • Ambulatory Able to walk
  • Ankle-foot Orthosis (AFO) A brace used to stretch the Achilles tendon worn on the lower leg and foot to support the ankle, hold the foot and ankle in the correct position and correct foot drop. It is a thin, light plastic material. This is individually moulded and needs replacement as the child grows
  • Asphyxia Failure or prevention of respiratory process due to obstruction of air flow, lack of oxygen in the blood or lack of oxygen in atmosphere
  • Ataxic Cerebral Palsy A form of cerebral palsy characterised by Ataxia, problems with balance, co-ordination, shaky hand movements and jerky speech
  • Athetoid Cerebral Palsy A form of cerebral palsy characterised by Athetosis, involuntary movements resulting from the rapid change in muscle tone from floppy to tense
  • Audiologist A professional who works with people who have hearing difficulties
  • Baclofen Drug used as muscle relaxant
  • Basal Ganglia Middle area of the brain
  • Bobath Therapy Physical therapy which aims to improve posture and movement
  • Botulinum Toxin A Drug which can reduce spasticity (tightness) in muscles
  • Central Nervous System Consists of the spinal cord and the brain. The brain receives and processes signals delivered through the spinal cord, and then sends directive signals to the body
  • Cerebral Palsy A disorder of movement and posture due to a non-progressive damage or lesion to the immature brain
  • Cerebellum Area of the brain which controls balance and muscle tone
  • Cerebral Cortex Outer layer of the brain in which thought processes take place
  • Cerebral Thrombosis Formation of blood clot in an artery of the brain
  • Chorea Uncontrollable, small, jerky movements, usually of toes and fingers [particularly affecting the head, face or limbs]
  • Choreoathetosis Involuntary movements showing features of both chorea and athetosis
  • Clonus A muscle spasm in which the muscle relaxes and contracts in rapid succession resulting in a shaking or trembling movement
  • Conductive Education A holistic learning system which can enable some children with cerebral palsy to function more independently
  • Congenital ‘Present at birth' i.e. a condition which originates prenatally
  • Contractures Permanent shortening of muscle and tendon resulting from spastic tightening of muscles over a long period
  • CT/ CAT Scan Diagnostic technique using a combination of computer and X-rays [Computed Axial Tomography]. This provides cross-sectional images of tissue which are clearer and more detailed than X-rays alone with minimal exposure to radiation
  • Diplegia Where both legs are affected but the arms are not [or less so]
  • Dolphin Therapy Therapeutic interaction with dolphins
  • Dorsiflexion Lifting of the foot/toes or hand/fingers towards the body
  • Dyskinesia Abnormality of movement/impairment of the power of voluntary movement resulting in fragmentation or incomplete movements
  • Dyskinetic CP See athetoid cerebral palsy
  • Dystonia Muscle tone fluctuates between stiffness and floppiness/slow twisting repetitive movements of arm, leg, trunk
  • Electromyography A test that measures muscle activity to stimulation of the nerves, often used in clinical diagnosis of muscle disorders
  • Encephalitis Inflammation of the brain, usually resulting from viral or bacterial infection
  • Epilepsy Abnormal electrical activity in the brain which causes seizures of varying degree
  • Equinus Abnormality of foot which prevents normal weight-bearing
  • Etiology See Aetiology
  • Fine motor movements Small muscle movements, often of the hand [e.g. writing]
  • Flexion Bending of parts of the body
  • Function A clinical term usually referring to an ability or skill required to carry out an activity of daily living [see ADL]
  • Fundoplication Surgical treatment involving suturing (stitching of the fundus of the stomach) usually used in cases of hiatus hernia or Gastro-esophageal Reflux
  • GABA (Gamma Chemical produced by the brain to relax Aminobutyric Acid) muscles (lacking in those with spasticity)
  • Gait How an individual walks
  • Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Regurgitation of stomach contents into the oesophagus
  • Gastrostomy Surgical procedure to allow insertion of tube for feeding purposes
  • Gross motor movements Large muscle movements [e.g. walking]
  • Hip dislocation In children with spasticity the thigh bone [femur] can gradually be pulled out of its socket where it connects with the hip - this is treated surgically
  • Haemorrhage Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Hemiplegia Where one side of the body is affected by paralysis
  • Hydrocephalus Water on the brain
  • Hyperkinesis Abnormally increased muscle movement/spasm
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy used in the treatment of a variety of conditions delivered in a pressurised chamber
  • Hypertonia Too much muscle tone leading to stiffness
  • Hypotonia Too little muscle tone leading to floppiness
  • Hypoxia Term used when the brain or other tissue is not receiving adequate oxygen
  • Intrathecal Baclofen Method of administering Baclofen (a muscle relaxant) internally. This is used to treat spasticity
  • Ischaemia When the amount of blood flowing through the brain or other tissue is diminished
  • Intraventricular Haemorrhage Bleeding into the normal fluid spaces (ventricles) within the brain
  • Kinaesthesia Perception and understanding of where one's limbs and body are in space and in relation to other objects
  • Lycra Dynamic Splinting A material suit that supports the body while allowing function
  • Meningitis Inflammation of the lining of the brain and/or spinal cord
  • Monoplegia Impairment of one limb
  • Motor Of movement
  • MRI Diagnostic technique [Magnetic Resonance Imaging] providing cross-sectional/three-dimensional images which are more detailed than CT/CAT Scans - uses electro-magnetic field and radio waves [no X-rays or other radiation involved]
  • Muscle tone The amount of tension or resistance to movement in a muscle
  • Neonatal Newly born [first four weeks of life]
  • Neurologist A doctor who specialises in impairments of the brain and nervous system
  • Neurosurgery Surgery to the nervous system and its supporting structures e.g. brain, spinal cord or nerve
  • Paraplegia Impairment of legs only
  • Perinatal Referring to the period from 28th week of pregnancy to 28th day after birth
  • Quadriplegia All four limbs affected
  • Range of motion Refers to the flexibility of joints such as elbows and ankles
  • Reflex Automatic unconscious movement in response to stimulus
  • Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy A neurosurgical technique used in the treatment of spasticity in the lower limbs
  • Sensory Referring to part of nervous system that receives and interprets signals through senses [sight / touch / smell / hearing / taste]
  • Scoliosis Abnormal curvature of the spine usually in an S shape
  • Spastic cerebral palsy The most common form of cerebral palsy where some muscles become very stiff and weak
  • Spatial Relationship of one thing to another in space, learned through vision and movement
  • Spatial perception Appreciation of size, distance and relationship between objects
  • Tendonotomy Surgical cutting of tendon to relieve spasticity
  • Tetraplegia Impairment of all four limbs and body [as in quadriplegia]
  • Tone Natural sustained tension in muscle
  • Tonic Sustained tension in a limb
  • Tremor Rhythmic, involuntary, trembling or quivering movements of parts of the body
  • Triplegia Impairment of three limbs
  • Uteroplacental Insufficiency (UPI) where blood flow to the placenta is impaired, so that there is a risk that inadequate amounts of nutrients or oxygen are delivered to the foetus
  • Visual Acuity Clarity of vision
  • Visual Memory Ability to retain and reproduce shapes seen briefly

December 2012

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cerebral palsy (CP)

complex communication needs (CCN)

A term used in relation to complex developmental conditions, that affect children throughout their lives.

complex communication needs (CCN) – CCN refers to people with severe speech, language and communication impairments; including autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, certain learning disabilities and multiple disabilities.


See also :


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adults
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children
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congenital
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CCN

dementia

An acquired condition, generally affecting people over the age of 40.

dementia - a set of progressive symptoms including loss of memory, mood changes, and problems with communication and reasoning; affecting language skills used in understanding and ability to communicate when talking, reading and writing.

The most common types are Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. 


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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acquired
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dementia

developmental-learning disability

A birth condition, affecting children and continuing throughout their adult life.

developmental-learning disability – difficulty understanding new or complex information, learning new skills and living independently.

Severe learning disability is commonly due to specific genetic or physical abnormalities, with Down’s syndrome the most common specific cause. Fragile X syndrome is also a genetic cause, where all boys but only a third of girls have mild, moderate or severe learning disabilities. The Down's Syndrome Association advise that

Down's syndrome is not a disease. People with Down's syndrome are not ill and do not "suffer" from the condition.

Some people with a learning disability also have other physical and emotional conditions; for example, some people with cerebral palsy can have a learning disability and, although autism is not a learning disability, around 50% of people with autism may also have a learning disability.

See also  autism spectrum disorders (ASD),  cerebral palsy (CP),  complex communication needs (CCN) and  profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD)


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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children
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congenital
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learning disability

Huntington’s disease

An acquired condition, usually affecting people between the ages of 30-50.

Huntington's disease – previously called Huntington's chorea; a brain disorder with progressive neurodegeneration leading to motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. All areas of communicative functioning are affected.


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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acquired
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Huntington's disease (HD)

laryngectomy

Larynx cancer is an acquired condition, usually affecting adults.

laryngectomy – the partial or complete surgical removal of the larynx (voice box), usually as a treatment for laryngeal cancer. There are several methods to help you to produce sound and learn to speak again.


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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acquired
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laryngectomy

locked-in syndrome

A rare, acquired neurological condition, resulting in complete inability to speak or move.

locked-in syndrome – this rare neurological disorder is characterised by complete paralysis of voluntary muscles in all parts of the body except for those that control eye movement. This syndrome may result from traumatic brain injury or diseases affecting circulation or nerve cells. Thinking and reasoning function normally, but there is inability to speak or move.


See also brain injury and motor neuron(e) disease (MND).


December 2012

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adults
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acquired
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locked-in syndrome

motor neuron(e) disease (MND)

An acquired and progressive condition, most often affecting people in the 40 to 70 year age group.

motor neuron(e) disease (MND) – a degenerative disease of the motor neuron(e) system: see also amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). MND is more commonly used as a generic term in the UK for all variants of the disease, with ALS a term more commonly used in the US.

The disease affects the motor cells (neurones) in the brain and spinal cord. Without nerves to control the muscles, there is loss of control to move around, speak, swallow and breathe. Symptoms may include muscle weakness/waste and paralysis.

In most cases MND does not affect intellect, memory or the senses, but people experience varying degrees of vocal or physical impairment that may cause problems with communication.


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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acquired
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motor neurone disease (MND)

multiple sclerosis (MS)

An acquired condition, usually affecting adults.

multiple sclerosis (MS) – a neurological condition, normally diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 40, with a set of physical symptoms including vision, fatigue, spasms, tremor, speech and swallowing.

The usual communication difficulty is dysarthria, if parts of the brain are damaged; for example, connections between the brain and the spinal cord – the area known as the brainstem.

Speech may be affected in various ways; for example, slurred speech, weak voice, pitch control, pauses between syllables.


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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acquired
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multiple sclerosis (MS)

Parkinson's disease (PD)

An acquired condition, usually affecting adults over the age of 50.

Parkinson's disease (PD) – a progressive neurological condition, mainly affecting people aged 50+, where a lack of the chemical 'dopamine' causes movements to become slower and a tremor develops.


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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acquired
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Parkinson's

Prion disease

A rare acquired condition, mainly affecting adults but a small percentage of cases run in families.

Prion disease – a group of transmissible, progressive neurodegenerative conditions, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), which can cause dysarthria and often a reduction in the content of language, word finding difficulties and repetition of words or sentences.


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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acquired
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Prion disease

profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD)

A congenital condition affecting children and adults.

PMLD – PMLD is a commonly used term for profound and multiple learning difficulties, incorporating intellectual or developmental disabilities and physical disabilities. Most people will need to use a wheelchair and will have hearing and sight problems as well as non-verbal communication. See also complex communication needs (CCN) and developmental-learning disabilities.

Most people with PMLD don't use formal communication like words and symbols, although some people may use or understand some gestures. This makes communication very difficult.


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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children
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congenital
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PMLD

spinal injury

An acquired condition affecting children and adults.

spinal injury – injuries to the cervical spinal cord may result in dysarthria.


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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children
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acquired
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spinal injury

stroke / cerebrovascular accident (CVA)

An acquired condition, mainly affecting older adults.

stroke-CVA – medical term for sudden loss of sensation and control caused by rupture or obstruction of a blood vessel of the brain e.g. a blood clot. A stroke may be referred to as CVA - cerebrovascular accident. In a child, an interruption to the brain’s blood supply for a very brief time may cause a stroke.

Common communication difficulties after a stroke are  aphasia and  dyspraxia.


Useful information available at


December 2012

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adults
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acquired
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stroke-CVA

weblinks - aphasia / stroke

These website links related to aphasia and stroke may be useful to you.


Aphasia Help - a site built involving people with aphasia, for people with aphasia; helpful and accessible information on aphasia and provides useful FAQs on the subject.

Aphasia Now - a site by people living with aphasia, for people with aphasia

Bury Speakeasy - a charity for people with aphasia.

CHSS (chest, heart & stroke Scotland) - Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland provides straightforward, easily accessible information about stroke (FAQs good); they have a good range of relevant publications e.g. types of stroke, what may help and who may help

Different Strokes - a very useful website particularly aimed at younger children and adults who have experienced stroke

Dyscover aphasia charity - this site looks useful, but we need to explore it further

North East Trust for Aphasia - North East aphasia charity

Speakability Aphasia Charity - national charity dedicated to supporting and empowering people with aphasia and their carers

Stroke Association - national charity

Talking Mats Centre - Talking Mats is an established communication tool, which uses a mat with symbols attached as the basis for communication

Tavistock aphasia trust - useful links and powerful support for raising the profile of the implications of living with stroke and aphasia

UK Connect - lots of helpful information for people with aphasia, their families and professionals (good FAQs)


December 2012

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aphasia
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stroke-CVA

weblinks - assessment centres

The following is a list of specialist AAC assessment centres across the UK.


Specialist AAC Assessment Centres


Communication Matters list


ACE Centre Oxford and ACE Centre North - specialist AAC centres offering information and advice on assistive technology; with a paediatric/education focus

CALL Scotland - Specialist AAC assessment centre in Scotland

Frenchay Hospital Communication Aid Centre - an adult assessment focus


December 2012

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children
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adults
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assessment
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access & equipment

weblinks - charities

The following is a list of organisations and individuals we may have made reference to within the site.


Leading UK Charities

AbilityNet - the only charity in the UK that works with people with all disabilities and of all ages, helping them to use computers and the internet to improve their lives at home, at work and in education

Alzheimer Scotland - services across Scotland for people with dementia, their families and carers

Alzheimer's Society - support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Brain Tumour UK - caring charity committed to fighting brain tumours

Cancer Research UK

Capability Scotland - a charity supporting children in Scotland with cerebral palsy to go to school, get a job and look forward to a more independent lifestyle

Cedar Foundation - supporting and empowering children and adults with disabilities throughout Northern Ireland; with a focus on cerebral palsy

Child Brain Injury Trust - helps children and young people with brain injury, their families and professionals

Communication Matters - UK charity which campaigns for those with no speech; provides information on AAC; and organises events such as roadshows, study days, and an annual AAC conference.

Connect - charity for people living with aphasia

Down's Syndrome Association - the only organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which supports people with Down's syndrome at every stage of life

Down's Syndrome Scotland - the only organisation in Scotland focusing solely on the needs of people with Down's syndrome

Enable Scotland - working for a better life for children and adults in Scotland with a learning disability

Headway - a charity set up to give help and support to people affected by brain injury.
Headway is the UK brain injury association and produces a booklet 'Coping with communication problems after brain injury'

Huntington's Disease Association - support, help and advice on Huntington's Disease for England and Wales

MacMillan Cancer Support - the largest cancer care and support charity, providing practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care for various types of cancer, including brain tumours and cancer of the larynx

Medical Research Council Prion Unit at University College London

Mencap - learning disability charity for England, Northern Ireland and Wales

MIND - Mental health charity for England, Wales and Northern Ireland

MND Scotland - the only charity funding research and providing care and information for people affected by Motor Neurone Disease in Scotland

Motor Neurone Disease Association - the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that funds and promotes global research into the disease and provides support for people affected by motor neuron(e) disease (MND)/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Multiple Sclerosis Society - MS charity

National Autistic Society - for people with autism (including Asperger syndrome) and their families

Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health

Parkinson's UK - Parkinson's Disease support and research charity

PMLD Network - support organisation for profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD)

Scope Disability Charity - supporting disabled people and their families in England and Wales; with a focus on cerebral palsy

Scottish Association for Mental Health

Speakability - national charity dedicated to supporting and empowering people with Aphasia and their carers

Spinal Injuries Association - national charity for spinal cord injured people

Stroke Association - changing the world for people affected by stroke


Other Support Organisations

1Voice - network and support for chidren and families using communication aids; involving AAC role models

AAG SIG - Augmentative & Alternative Communication Special Interest Group

Afasic - a parent-led organisation to help children and young people with speech and language impairments and their families

CandLE - Communication and Learning Enterprises (CandLE), a not-for-profit communication aid centre

College of Occupational Therapists - national professional body for occupational therapy

Communication Forum Scotland - informal alliance of organisations representing people of all ages with varied communication support needs

The Communication Trust - a coalition of nearly 50 voluntary and community organisations

FAST UK assistive technology - Foundation for Assistive Technology; designed to tackle the inadequate design of assistive technology products and services

Find A Voice - a charity providing advice and support to people with speech and communication difficulties

Focus on Disability - support, advice, information and resources for disabled people, the elderly and their carers in the UK

Hft - HF Trust; a national charity providing local support services for people with learning disabilities throughout England

IPSEA - Independent Parental Special Education Advice; providing free legally based advice to families who have children with special educational needs

ISAAC - The International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication; working to improve the lives of children and adults who use AAC

Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists - the professional body for speech and language therapy in the UK

Sequal Trust - committed to bridging the communication gap for disabled people of all ages throughout the UK

Speakeasier - providing help, advice and speech aids for people with multiple sclerosis (MS); now merged with and part of The MS Society

Speech Teach UK - speech therapy resources for parents and professionals supporting children with speech and learning difficulties

Talking Mats Centre - Talking Mats is an established communication tool, which uses a mat with symbols attached as the basis for communication


December 2012

tags: 
AAC
tags: 
charities

weblinks - role models

The following is a list of personal and business websites of some inspiring individuals who use AAC systems.


Individuals who use AAC

Please contact us if you want to suggest other people to add to this list. We would welcome your suggestions, thank you.


Alan Martin, Mouse on the Move - Alan was inspirational and leaves a powerful legacy as an AAC role model, including his fully inclusive, creative contemporary dance workshops

Beth Moulam - independent living, travel, education, sport and AAC

Toby Hewson, Just Different - challenging outdated and often un-informed perceptions of disability

Simon Stevens - independent disability issues consultant, trainer and activist

Simon Wilson, Simonsable - independent disability trainer and consultant

Stephen Hawking - Professor Stephen Hawking, the famous theoretical physicist, has had motor neurone disease for most of his adult life


You may be interested in Martin Pistorius' book, Ghost Boywhich recounts his early life with locked-in syndrome ...

Ghost Boy is the compelling story of Martin Pistorius who at the age of 12 fell inexplicably sick. First he lost his voice and stopped eating, within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound. Martin's parents were told that an unknown degenerative disease had left him with the mind of a baby and with a poor prognosis for survival.

The book eloquently weaves its way as Martin recounts his journey of recovery against all the odds. It is a brave and moving account of his struggle to communicate in a world full of changes. Martin describes himself as ‘a man-child reborn in a world he didn't know’, unable to remember anything before his illness but clearly aware of all around him in his world of silence. Through Martin's story we get a glimpse what it is like to be unable to communicate yet feeling and understanding everything. Martin's emergence from his darkness enables us to celebrate the human spirit and is a wake-up call to cherish our own lives.

"It is a deeply affecting and at times shocking book... The Diving Bell and The Butterfly but with a happy ending."
The Sunday Times, 17 July 2011

"[Pistorius’s] levels of empathy are remarkable, perhaps because he was forced for so many years into the role of watcher and listener, hearing people unburden their problems around him, absorbing their pain without them knowing... [his] communication is strikingly direct, almost fearless in the way he confronts emotional reality." 
Catherine Deveney, Scotland on Sunday

"Martin tells the story of his remarkable recovery—and how he eventually came to find love, a home and a job… Now in a deeply moving – and ultimately uplifting - new book, Martin Pistorius tells the amazing story of life as The Ghost Boy." 
The Irish Mail


January 2013

tags: 
communication difficulties
tags: 
medical terms
tags: 
role models