TOMS, Goals and Competencies: Clinical Decision-Making for Clients Attending an AAC Specialist Service

  • Griffiths, T. (Speaker)
  • Kim Bates (Speaker)
  • Katrina MacLeod (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


For professionals working in AAC, the use of outcome measures to track progress towards goals can be a vital part of clinical decision making. Robust outcome measurement can help ensure that intervention and support is appropriately provided at both an individual and service level. Equally, the setting and evaluating of appropriate, individualised goals facilitates the identification of appropriate AAC techniques and systems, allowing all stakeholders to make changes and adjustments to work towards the best possible outcomes.

This paper will present a case series of patients seen in the Augmentative Communication Service (ACS) at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). All children (n=50) in the study were given loans of high-tech AAC systems and were set goals for the duration of these loans. The goals were categorised according to Janice Light’s (1989, 2014) framework of communicative competencies and were evaluated at the end of the loan period at a multi-stakeholder meeting with the child, family, local professionals and members of the ACS team and goals were
ranked according to level of achievement. An outcome measure - Therapy Outcome Measures (TOMS, Enderby et al, 2006) - was used to measure children’s participation. Decisions for intervention were made as a result of these discussions.

The paper will present an analysis of the data generated from this group and provide insight into how the use of these goals and outcome measures guided the decision-making process for all those involved in the AAC assessment. The relationship between the achievement of goals and the decision to provide or make changes to the AAC system will be discussed. We will explain the assessment process, the evaluation and discuss how the use of this system and the data generated has guided the development of clinical pathways within a specialist service.
Period11 Sept 2017
Event titleCommunication Matters : CM2017 National AAC Conference
Event typeConference
LocationLeeds, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational