OMC Accepting Referrals for Communication Therapy Program
Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) is accepting referrals for Augmentative and
Alternative Communication (AAC). AAC is an area of clinical practice where
speech pathologists work with individuals who have complex communication
disorders that include impairments in speech, language production, comprehension,
and written communication.
OMC’s unique AAC therapy program caters to the needs of the individual
and typically includes six to eight follow-up therapy/training sessions
aimed at providing functional communication opportunities for the user
and programming support for caregivers.
AAC uses picture communication boards, line drawings, speech-generating
devices (SGDs), tangible objects, manual signs, gestures, and finger spelling
to help the individual express thoughts, wants and needs, feelings, and ideas.
AAC devices have touch pads or can be controlled with eye gaze, the mouth,
or other body parts to create speech or to control the environment. A
person with impaired speech can create a voice. A person with impaired
mobility can turn on the lights or change channels. Speakers also can
be placed around the neck to focus attention on the person who is communicating
through a device.
“Nothing can describe the grins on faces, the jokes, or the personality
that comes through when these devices are used,” said Sharon Sowder,
MA-CCC/SLP, a speech-language pathologist at OMC Rehabilitation Services.
“You can have real conversations. These devices give individuals
their voice back or give them a voice they didn’t have before.”
Family members are welcome to contact the clinic to start the referral
process. Evaluations and assessments are performed by licensed and certified
speech-language pathologists who specialize in AAC. For a referral, contact
OMC Rehabilitation Services at 417-257-5959 or 888-242-9329.