Succeed with AAC
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. Here is our top tips:
Use the AAC solution yourself when you talk (Modelling)
Help the user to get to know the AAC solution by you use your voice and in the same time use the communication solution (app or device) when speaking to the AAC user. You do not need to say every word in your sentence with the device. This is called Modelling.
Model as you explore vocabulary and correcting mistakes. If you use Snap + Core First you can use the Search feature when you are unable to find vocabulary.
The AAC Solution is just one way to express my voice
We can express ourselfes in many ways, such as gestures, signs, and vocalizations. Encourage all ways of communication. Respond to all modes of communication and do not push for the AAC user to say something they have already expressed with the AAC solution, focus on helping them to express things that are hard to say in other ways with their AAC solution.
Provide a positive communication environment
- Assuming Competence. Believe that the user can complete the challenges presented to them and if they say something that was their intention.
- 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 the AAC solution.
- 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 communication 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 or
- 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.