Four Ideas for Facilitating AAC Use Across ALL Environments

Hi, all! Spring is in the air, and I am hoping that our winter weather is over after the most recent cold snap.

Today I want to follow up with that frustrating topic for many SLPs. In my last post, I discussed some ways to learn more about Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC). Now, I’d like to share some ways SLPs can facilitate buy-in among parents and other educators for effective AAC use across all student environments.
     1. Train all communication partners. First of all, everyone who will be interacting with the student on a regular basis needs to learn how to use the device. By using the device with the student, they are modeling communication AND learning how the student will communicate with others. Second, communication partners should be taught how to help the student use the device. Show other educators and parents how to successfully set up the environment for optimal communication opportunities. Teach them how to prompt device use.
     2. Show them what successful AAC looks like. I have found that going into classrooms and modeling with the student makes a world of difference. There are also many videos available on You Tube and elsewhere on the internet.
     3. Back up your claims with research. Both and AAC for the SLP on Facebook are good places to find links to research articles on AAC use.
     4. Use what is practical for all involved. An iPad with a fantastic, expensive AAC app is not going to be the best choice for everyone. If it isn’t a good fit, it won’t be used. Spend some time trying several options before deciding which to implement.

I hope these ideas help you on your AAC journey. If you have others, please share. This is one area in which most of us could use more resources!

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