The Southern California Augmentative and Alternative Communication Network... a support group for professional development, problem solving, leadership, mentoring, and training in the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to develop communication in non-speaking and minimally verbal individuals in the Southern California Region.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Augmented Input Tracking

"Speak AAC" to the Learner...
is something I often find myself saying to teachers, parents, aides, SLPs and all of us that are desperately trying to help AAC Learners learn language. 

Modeling use of an AAC system for Learners (aka. Augmented Input) is often the best way to teach them to use the system expressively themselves. But modeling language can be a challenge! Why is it so difficult? Here is one common obstacle:

  • The "AAC Guide" (and by this I mean the SLP, aide, parent, classroom teacher - anyone who is helping the AAC Learner to access and utilize their system) may need time and energy to learn the language of the AAC system themselves. And said "time and energy" are not growing on trees! That doesn't change the fact that it is essential that the AAC Guide be at least one step ahead of the Learner. 
One approach to combat this common barrier is to use the system in preferred activities WITH the learner. Below is an example of a cleaned up tracking form that I have found helpful in my language modeling. This session with a young girl focused primarily on play, and 1-word and 2-word utterances within her customized communication app on an iPad.

In the left column is the activity, and on the right are vocabulary words I found myself modeling in play. Documentation like this can be taken down on a notecard and stored with the activity itself, or collected on a single form like this in order to share with other interested parties what was covered in a single session.

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