Speech and Language Kids Podcast

Speech and Language Kids Podcast by Carrie Clark, Speech-Language Pathologist

Carrie Clark, Speech-Language Pathologist

Resources for Speech Therapists and Parents: Speech Therapy Activities, Games and How-Tos

Categories: Education

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In this episode of the Speech and Language Kids Podcast, speech-language pathologist Carrie Clark gives you an in-depth look at how, when, and why AAC is used with a child.

Click Here to Download Your Free AAC Cheat Sheets
What is Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC)?
AAC is the term used to describe any form of communication that a person can use that is not speech.  This may include pointing to pictures of what the person wants, using sign language, or using a device that will speak a message when a specific button is pushed.
When Should AAC be Considered for a Child?
AAC should be considered for any child when his/her speech output is not adequate to communicate everything that the child wants/needs to communicate.

Things to consider:

Child’s frustration levels
Adult frustration levels
Access to school curriculum
Participation in classroom activities
Ability to demonstrate knowledge to teachers
Access to home and community environment
Ability to interact appropriately with family and peers
Independence in developmentally-appropriate daily activities

 What Prerequisite Skills Does a Child Need Before Trying AAC?
In short, there are no skills that a child MUST have before AAC can be tried.  Though, here are a few of the common misconceptions about this:

These are commonly used as excuses why AAC devices should not be attempted with children but these are WRONG:

The child must understand cause and effect (AAC teaches cause and effect quite effectively)
The child must understand that a picture represents an object (again, AAC teaches this)
Child must have good enough motor skills for AAC (there are lots of alternatives for children who can’t access a device with their hands)
Child must understand enough language for AAC use (babies don’t have great language before they are introduced to speech)
Child must be interested in communicating (even inappropriate behaviors can be shaped into intentional communication)

For more information about these “prerequisites”, click the link: http://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/what-are-the-prerequisites-for-using-an-aac-device-augmentativealternative-communication/
Options for AAC devices, methods, and systems

Gestures/Body Language
Sign Language
Object Symbols (objects glued to cards)
Picture Boards
Picture Exchange
Written Messages (paper or typed)
Single Button Voice-Output Devices
Multi-Button Voice-Output Devices
Dynamic-Display Voice-Output Devices

Download the free PDF cheat sheet of the different types of AAC here:

Click Here to Download Your Free AAC Cheat Sheets
How to Introduce the System:
Make it as natural as possible.  Think of it as similar to how you would encourage a late talker to talk.

Get Familiar with the Child’s System
Model AAC Use Around the Child
Encourage the Child When he Attempts to Use it and Provide Differential Reinforcement
Have the Device Present at All Times
Set Up Opportunities for the Child to Use the AAC Device (in the classroom, at home, in speech, etc.)
Train Other Adults on How to Set Up Opportunities and Provide Differential Reinforcement

For more info on getting started, click the link: http://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/help-child-use-aac-home-classroom-hint-easier-think/

Click Here to Download Your Free AAC Cheat Sheets

The post When, How, and Why to Use AAC with a Child appeared first on Speech And Language Kids.

Previous episodes

  • 65 - When, How, and Why to Use AAC with a Child 
    Mon, 10 Oct 2016 - 0h
  • 64 - Why Do Speech Therapists Group Children Together? 
    Mon, 12 Sep 2016 - 0h
  • 63 - The Speech Therapist’s Role in Reading and Writing in Children and Adolescents 
    Mon, 08 Aug 2016 - 0h
  • 62 - Speech Therapy for Children with Hypernasality 
    Mon, 11 Jul 2016 - 0h
  • 61 - Stuttering Therapy Activity Ideas 
    Mon, 13 Jun 2016 - 0h
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