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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Taking AAC to the Beach? Dive Right In!

School is out and summer fun is in.  Your AAC user might not be getting the same level of intervention during the summer as (s)he gets during the school-year.  But that shouldn’t matter, because you know how to infuse AAC use into every-day activities, right?  
  • I hope your AAC user has a good, robust AAC system to use all the time; however if it is an electronic system you might want to think twice about taking it for a swim.  Electronic systems can be difficult to use at the beach or pool.  Screens are difficult to see in the glare of the sun. (The industry has been getting better with this, but it’s still a work-in-progress.)  They also don’t like sand or salt water very much.  So, consider making a back-up communication book to take to the seaside. 
  • Some of the dedicated device manufacturers have paper-based pages you can download from their websites.  If you are using an iPad app, I recommend making a screen-shot of each page, printing them out, adding tabs to the edges of pages to label them - to make page turning/navigation easy and consistent.

So, you've identified the meaningful context - building sandcastles (or sand piles)  at the beach.  
You know how to supply Aided Input, modeling with the AAC system while you interact.  
You've made sure your AAC user has an effective AAC system (see above).
You have chosen the appropriate vocabulary (I've made suggestions in my handout for you).
You have chosen words to describe and talk about the activity, core action words to use within the activity, and words to continue or end the activity.
You know how to get the child's attention, create the message with pictures and say it, and ask questions to increase the interaction.
You're prepared with the words and phrases to use and....Go!

Click the link HERE to get a copy of my free AAC at the beach handout.  It includes directions, suggestions, and a core word-based, topic communication board to use if you have nothing else.
Have fun!  Don't get a sunburn.  And.... Keep on Talking!


  1. Your posts are always so informative for parents and SLPs who are new to AAC! Thanks for the great freebie!

  2. You're welcome! I'm hoping people find this blog helpful. Thanks for reading.