Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version



Neurology Research International Volume 2011, Article ID 714693, 6 pages


Copyright © 2011 David Beukelman et al.

Open access



Almost all people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) experience a motor speech disorder, such as dysarthria, as the disease progresses. At some point, 80 to 95% of people with ALS are unable tomeet their daily communication needs using natural speech. Unfortunately, once intelligibility begins to decrease, speech performance often deteriorates so rapidly that there is little time to implement an appropriate augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) intervention; therefore, appropriate timing of referral for AAC assessment and intervention continues to be a most important clinical decision-making issue. AAC acceptance and use have increased considerably during the past decade. Many people use AAC until within a few weeks of their deaths.