AAC and Pediatric Palliative Care The note tacked on my office door read, “Donny back in PICU (pediatric intensive care unit). They [PICU staff] called. I can’t.” The translation of this cryptic message meant there was an immediate need to provide an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) system to a very sick teenager who ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2004
AAC and Pediatric Palliative Care
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sheela Stuart
    Children’s Hearing and Speech Center, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2004
AAC and Pediatric Palliative Care
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, December 2004, Vol. 13, 12-16. doi:10.1044/aac13.4.12
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, December 2004, Vol. 13, 12-16. doi:10.1044/aac13.4.12
The note tacked on my office door read, “Donny back in PICU (pediatric intensive care unit). They [PICU staff] called. I can’t.” The translation of this cryptic message meant there was an immediate need to provide an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) system to a very sick teenager who desperately wanted to communicate. Because Donny had been in and out of the hospital several times before this time, we knew this could easily be the hospitalization when Donny might succumb to his 13-year battle with progressive neurological disease. We also knew it was going to be very difficult to find a workable AAC system and that his mother would be intensely demanding. Providing AAC in this situation would be certain to be technologically as well as psychologically and emotionally challenging. However difficult, it had to be done immediately and it was definitely my turn.
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