Case Studies in Pre-Service AAC Instruction: Comforting the Client While Stressing the Student Teaching speech-language pathology (SLP) students about alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) through case studies can provide a more meaningful experience than found in a more traditional didactic approach. Case studies give students a clinical context for the material presented in class. They also enable consideration of a wide range of ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2011
Case Studies in Pre-Service AAC Instruction: Comforting the Client While Stressing the Student
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Albert M. Cook
    Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology, University of AlbertaEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2011
Case Studies in Pre-Service AAC Instruction: Comforting the Client While Stressing the Student
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2011, Vol. 20, 75-80. doi:10.1044/aac20.2.75
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2011, Vol. 20, 75-80. doi:10.1044/aac20.2.75
Abstract

Teaching speech-language pathology (SLP) students about alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) through case studies can provide a more meaningful experience than found in a more traditional didactic approach. Case studies give students a clinical context for the material presented in class. They also enable consideration of a wide range of factors, including family dynamics, school or work contexts, and the participation of other team members (e.g., POT, PT, and teachers). In this course, case studies are the focus, but material is also presented through lecture/discussion, labs (where various AAC devices are used and evaluated by the students), and readings. The focus on case studies presents a number of challenges. For the students, this is one of the first times they are forced to deal with complex clinical problems for which the answers are not readily available in a textbook. They complain that the assignments are vague and that the cases require too much time to complete. For the instructors, the course requires much more time in providing information to the students, answering questions about the cases, and generally supporting the students. In the end, the students manage to “pull it all together” and present thoughtful and thorough implementation plans for their cases. After entering into practice or graduating, students report that the course prepared them for working with a client with AAC needs.

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