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Monday, October 14, 2013

Phonological Awareness Skills for AAC Users

Sometimes teachers are unsure how to teach or evaluate phonological awareness skills in students who can not speak - and therefore cannot “say” letter sounds or words.  

I frequently remind teachers and therapists that teaching these skills to nonverbal students is really not different from teaching to verbal students.  Only the mode of response is different.  Rather than making a verbal response, students will respond using the same mode they use for all other expressive tasks - picture based communication.

For example, we ask students to find words that begin with the same sound as a spoken word.  OK, we use pictures for this task, and that’s easy.  
When we ask students to name words that begin with the same sound as a spoken word, we need to make sure that they have a sufficient aac system, or we need to provide a choice of words from which they can choose.

Light and McNaughton have some good information on their program available.  In essence,  a choice array is provided for all tasks, from identifying rhyming words to sounds to number of syllables in words.

Here are some examples for you:

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