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Sunday, December 11, 2016

AAC From A to Z: P is for Planning

Last week, I told you about the all-important first step for teaching a student to use an AAC system - any AAC system.  Providing Aided Language Stimulation or Aided Input is important.  Students need models of the language system they are going to use.  We know that it is important to immerse them in an environment rich with their mode of communication.  

Emerging AAC users need continuous Aided Language Stimulation and opportunities to see, hear, and practice core words.  More experienced AAC users need Aided Input and scaffolding to support learning new vocabulary and more complex syntax.

For new communication partners this can seem a little bit daunting as tasks go; simultaneously using speech and using the AAC system to highlight key words.  I always tell partners to begin with just one activity.  Find one that is familiar and with which you are comfortable; routines work well, as the language used in them follows a predictable sequence and vocabulary is predictable and repeated.

I suggest that partners start by planning their interactions in advance, in order to get a good grasp of what words they are going to need to use within the activity, and what word(s) they want to target.
Think about the core words - verbs, pronouns, and adjectives in particular - that are a part of interactions within that activity.  Also think about what fringe words - mostly nouns - you need, as well.

Thinking about where your AAC user is linguistically, plan out 1, 2, or 3 word phrases - or longer sentences - you want to include.  Remember, we want to model at about 1 level above where your user is currently communicating.
Think about what communication functions the user is also already using.  Requesting is often what we develop first, but may not be the most functional.  Think about comfort, emotional states, wanting to be left alone, or needing to tell when something is wrong.

The link to watch the video, as well as download the handout, is right here.
Have fun communicating.  Keep on Talking !!

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