All AAC learners (regardless of skill level) need to see what it looks like to communicate using their AAC system in real conversations. Just as we don't expect any child to learn to talk without seeing or hearing the adults around them talking and communicating, *modelling* the use of the AAC device is just as crucial.
Modelling is a fancy term used by SLPs that simply means showing the child how to use the device without expecting or forcing them to copy.
The best way to start doing this is by finding a word or two on their AAC system or device for each sentence you want to say, and pressing the symbols as you say the word.
Here are some strategies for effective modelling:
While it's important to include fringe words (words with very specific meanings) so children can better describe their world, the best approach when starting AAC is to keep the focus on core words. Then, incorporate personal fringe words as needed to help kids talk about what's important to them.
by Halle Demchuk, SLP
Paediatric SLP | GLP-Trained Clinician | Owner of HAEPI SLP
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