Friday, February 1, 2013

Strategies to Support AAC users

AAC users (augmentative & alternative communication) require individualized supports which allow for enough flexibility to respond and engage in a variety of situations. This involves the early use and introduction of core vocabulary along with some simple strategies. Children are never too young for this to be implemented. Symbols and AAC user strategies must be introduced as soon as we suspect a communication & language concern. For a typically developing child we would read to them from the moment they were born and reinforce all attempts at communication. The same must be done for children with more complex disabilities. This includes the introduction of developmentally appropriate core words and phrases which are used in collaboration with texts and interactions. The sooner this is started, the better. Remember to make your environment symbol friendly as well and to never just include labels. Areas in the environment should allow for spontaneous communication and therefore must have the symbols available to support that. Example: When a child is playing with trucks or cars you could have the following vocabulary available:

associated colors with the play items

The child does not have to know all of these words. They do need to be exposed to them repeatedly and provided with facilitator support to make meaning out of them. Prepositions and other grammatical structures can be added as well. Here is a wonderful resource which provides instructions, ideas and other sites you can refer to for additional information. TASH 2011


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