Communication Partner Skills

Published: 11/09/2017 15:22

Communication is a two-part interaction to exchange information.  For someone to send information, there must be a speaker and a listener.  But being a good communication partner for an AAC user is more than just simply listening, you must provide support in multiple ways to help promote successful interactions.  The success of an AAC user’s communication is greatly influenced by how their communication partner interacts with and responds to them.

 

There are many things you can do to become a good communication partner including:  

 

Model appropriate use if the device.  Use your voice along with Snap + Core First when speaking to the learner

 

Model as you explore vocabulary and correcting mistakes. Use the Search feature when you are unable to find vocabulary. 

 

Provide a positive communication environment.

  • Assuming Competence.  Believe that your learner can complete the challenges presented to them.
  •  Focus on use, not testing.  Spend more time on practical use of the device within a context and less time on directly testing your learner’s proficiency at using Snap + Core First.
  • Respond to all modes of communication.  This includes AAC messages, gestures, signs, and vocalizations produced by your learner.  Encourage multimodal communication.
  • Wait patiently for responses.  Do not rush your learner to respond.  AAC is typically slower than traditional speech so it’s normal for it to take a minute to produce a message.  Also, give your learner time to correct their own mistakes before intervening.
  • Provide support when it is needed.  Always support your learner and offer assistance when they are struggling.
  • Address challenges and focus on positive results.  Discuss the difficulty of challenges with your learner while still focusing on what the CAN do.

 Look for and celebrate success. It comes in many forms such as increased attention to interaction, initiation of communication, use of more vocabulary, longer interactions, use of more tools or pages, greater enjoyment of interactions, and ore independence in communication

 These skills can help you become a better communication partner for your loved one. Improving upon your own skills can also help your partner to become a more independent and happy communicator.

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