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Navigating the Path to an AAC Device in Arizona for Your Child with Autism

Communication is a fundamental aspect of human interaction, yet for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), verbal communication can pose significant challenges. However, there are solutions available to help bridge this gap, one of which is an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. In our previous blogs, Exploring Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices (AAC) for Autistic Children: A Parent's Guide and Unlocking Communication: How AAC Devices Benefit Children with Autism, we explored what AAC Devices are and the many benefits of use. 


If you are considering obtaining an AAC device for your child, you may find the process overwhelming. Our Family Support Team is here to help guide you through the steps to make this journey smoother.


Here are the steps you can expect to take to get an AAC device in Arizona: 

Step 1: Physician Referral

The first step in obtaining an AAC device for your child is to have their physician write a prescription or referral for a speech-language pathologist (SLP). This professional will play a crucial role in assessing your child's communication needs and recommending the most suitable AAC device.

Step 2: Finding an SLP

Next, reach out to your Developmental Disabilities Division (DDD) Support Coordinator, health plan, or DDD liaison to locate an in-network, licensed, and registered SLP who is also an AAC Evaluator. These professionals are equipped with the expertise to evaluate your child's communication abilities and determine the appropriate AAC solution.

Step 3: Assessment Process

Once connected with an SLP, they will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your child's communication skills. This assessment may involve collaboration with physical or occupational therapists to ensure a holistic understanding of your child's needs regarding mobility and sensory considerations.

Step 4: Submission to Health Plan

Following the assessment, the SLP will compile all necessary documents, including the prescription, assessment results, and prior authorization forms, and submit them to your health plan for review.

Step 5: Approval Process

If the health plan approves the request for an AAC device, the next step involves sending the request to the designated supplier, such as MedOne, for device delivery.

Step 6: Training and Implementation

Once the AAC device is delivered, the SLP will coordinate with you to schedule training sessions to ensure both you and your child are comfortable and proficient in using the device effectively. This training is crucial for maximizing the benefits of the AAC device and facilitating your child's communication development.

Step 7: Addressing Denials

In the unfortunate event of a denial from the health plan, you will receive a Notice of Adverse Determination Letter. While this can be disheartening, it is essential to explore appeal options and advocate for your child's communication needs.


Navigating the process of obtaining an AAC device for your child with autism may seem daunting, but with the right guidance and support, it is entirely manageable. Remember, you are not alone on this journey. Our compassionate Family Support Team is here to assist you every step of the way. Our Family Support Team is always available to help and is available at no charge to all members of the autism and developmental disability community. Schedule a free phone appointment that works with your schedule:




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